Heating your home

BC Renonation: Great winter reno ideas for your home

Check out the special edition

 

By Maggie Calloway

As reluctant as we are to even think of the cold damp days and months ahead, some action and attention to detail now while the weather is relatively mild could save you big problems and lots of money if things go pear-shaped with your furnace in the middle of winter.

Alex Williams, a partner with his brother in A.D.W. Mainland Heat & Air Conditioning, is an expert on heating and cooling. Twenty-seven years of experience means there is not a lot Williams doesn’t know.

The first step depends on how old your furnace is. If it’s less than 10 years old, “(you) can take a chance and turn the furnace on because they have a lot of the newer technology and they don’t use much service,” Williams says. “If the furnace is over 10 years old (you) should get a licensed gas fitter to come in for a full service check.”

He says they should check several things before giving you the go-ahead.

“They should check the heat exchanger, the motor, the amperage draw, a clocking to make sure it’s burning correctly and they should test with a monometer to see if the pressure going to the burner is correct,” Williams says. “The biggest thing is to check for cracks in the heat exchanger because over time metal expands and contracts with heat and eventually it breaks.”

The biggest problem with a cracked heat exchanger is that it can release carbon monoxide into the house.

“I would say out of twenty furnaces over 20 years old, five of them will have cracks,” Williams says. “If your family suffers from chronic flu-like symptoms or constant tiredness while at home and they feel better when they are away from the home, check the carbon monoxide levels in the home immediately; your family may be being poisoned.”

Williams also says a furnace over 20 years old is only 50 per cent efficient. One has to think about replacing the unit if $50 out of every $100 you send to the natural gas provider is literally not providing any comfort to the family.

“Right now the federal government has a grant program called EcoEnergy and the provincial government’s program LiveSmart,” Williams says. “Just by changing your old furnace to a high efficiency (one) you will get $1,390 back … The average cost of putting in a high efficiency furnace is $4,700 so you are only looking at around $3,300. If you are now losing 50 per cent on the dollar with your old furnace it doesn’t take long to pay for a new safe, efficient one.”

For the complete printed edition of BC Renonation, please click here.

Just Posted

SLIDESHOW: Symphony in the Park

Free concert at Mill Lake featured Abbotsford’s young orchestra talent

VIDEO: Abbotsford police arrest man suspected of using pepper-spray against another man

Police cruisers collide in pursuit of suspect fleeing on a stolen bicycle

Heffernan to be acclaimed as Abbotsford Liberal candidate

Author and Jati Sidhu assistant to face-off against Ed Fast

Man charged with robbery of Abbotsford bank has multiple convictions

Mitchell Mousseau, 48, turned himself in to police on Aug. 11

NBA talent coaching at BC Bounce camp in Abbotsford

Former Dallas Mavericks guard Kyle Collinsworth coming to town

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Young balance-bikers race in B.C.’s inaugural Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Most Read