March 14, 2013
We all know that furnaces and boilers are used for heating our houses. However, many people do not know the difference between these two types of heating devices. Even homeowners can confuse them.
Generally, to heat homes a furnace uses warm air, boiler uses hot water. To heat air a furnace uses the electricity or natural gas. Then warm air is distributed throughout the house.
Boilers heat water or make steam. Water or steam travels through pipes to radiators that are used for heating purposes. Optionally, steam can be used to heat a fan coil unit which then heats circulating air.
Major parts of boiler are tank and water heater. Heater uses electricity or natural gas (also it can be heating oil) to heat the water. Cold water enters to the tank and pushes the already heated water out through another pipe. In a steam system, the boiler turns the water into steam.
Normally, the purpose of a water boiler is to heat a house. Additionally, houses have a water heater to heat water for washing and bathing although there are combination or combi boilers that combine the central heating with hot water in one box. Any boiler, furnace, or heater is a complicated system which consists of many parts, including controls and safety devices.
All heating system products should be repaired and installed by licensed and certified technicians. If you need a help with heating, furnace, or boiler (or have questions), call 604-437-7272. More info about heating…
November 10, 2012
If you have a big house to heat, it means you have a big heating bill. If you live in condo or apartment, the heating cost might be relatively insignificant. Even so, there is always a room to lower your heating bill.
Houses may lose heat due to a weak roof insulation. The easiest way to check is to wait for a first snow. Some roofs will hold the snow and some will melt it. If the roof of your house holds the snow, it is an indication of a well-insulated roof. Otherwise, consider improving – add or upgrade roof insulation. Also, as research shows, heat loss from windows can account up to 25% of your heating winter bill, if you do not have efficient energy saving windows.
It is a good idea to close the doors and vents in unused rooms. However, it is recommended to heat the basement for energy saving. Closing the curtains and blinds on windows, especially, during nights helps to save heat in. Due to a simple law of physics a warmer air escapes up. So that if you have a ceiling fan, it can help to push the hot air down.
If you still do not have a programmable thermostat, buy and install it. It allows you to optimize heating during 24 hours and 7 days a week. No need to heat rooms if nobody stays at home during the day. Besides, it is much healthier to sleep at low temperature. You can set it to follow your regular schedule – to turn off when you are out and turn back on around one hour in advance before you return home.
And the last but not the least of importance. It is a health of your heating system. Get your furnace or boiler and a whole heating system regularly serviced. A well-running, clean heating system is a save and efficient one. If your system is old and inefficient, think about replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.
October 15, 2012
Depending on the type of heating system, furnace or boiler, heating problems, as well as, their troubleshooting can differ. Most heating systems have similar parts, for example, thermostat or gas heater. Even if you can easily fix many possible problems, it is a good idea to have your central heating system serviced regularly by a licensed professional.
No heat. The first thing to check is thermostat. It can be set too low. If it is a programmable (digital) one, the timer or other settings can be wrong due to power outage in the past. Also it may be not working. Other possible reasons can be in furnace (boiler) module: circuit breaker or fuse is blown; the pilot light does not work; unusual flashing lights inside furnace or boiler, etc. If you do not know how to check and fix listed above, call experts.
Boiler problem: Noise. If your house is heated by conventional boiler, then there may be a lack of water in the water tank. Water gurgling. It indicates air in the pipes or radiators. Lack of water, as well as, air in central heating system can cause more serious problems that is why it is better to call heating specialist as soon as possible.
Boiler problem: Water leaking from heating pipes or from water tank. To avoid house flooding, immediately shut off the water supply and the water heater, and then call professional plumbers.
August 23, 2012
Most heating systems look simple. Normally, they have only three major components: heat source, distribution system, and thermostat. Nevertheless, the malfunction of any of components can cause the lost of energy efficiency and may eventually lead to a costly repair. The good news is that annual servicing can prolong the life of heating system. As well as, regular maintenance keeps it functioning efficiently and saves the cost in case of replacing the system.
However, cost saving is not only the reason to have the regular servicing. If a furnace or boiler is not well-maintained, it can stop working anytime during a cold weather. It can interrupt a normal pulse of everyday life, cause a discomfort and frustration. And again, it is naturally that in emergency and when most contractors are busy, it could be more expensive to fix.
That is why heating systems should be serviced once a year by a professional heating contractor. The professional contractor has the tools, instruments and training necessary. The contractor is able to professionally inspect the system, complete necessary maintenance, and adjust the system for optimal performance.
The best time to order heating system maintenance is during the warmer months because most technicians have open service schedules during these times that makes it easier to get an appointment. It is important to have the system ready when the cold comes. Heating system maintenance should be part of a home owner’s priorities during the warmer months. Call a heating contractor early before the start of the heating season.