HVAC Basics

HVAC basics for Toronto homeownersWe get a lot of questions about HVAC systems from Toronto homeowners that have become our sales and service customers over the years. Many of these questions are asked over and over. Because of that we thought we would share a few that might help you out with a similar HVAC question you might have on your mind.

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Question: My HVAC is maintenance free right?

A: Absolutely not. Although HVAC systems very rarely break down and they are one of the most durable products you can buy they still require routine care. It is recommended that your local HVAC service tech come out to your home and inspect the system and clean it at least once a year. During this service call they will replace filters as necessary, clean and adjust the burner unit (what you save in gas and oil in a year alone after doing this will most likely pay for this service call) and make sure all the system parts are in good running order. This can also help you avoid a costly service call or having your furnace break down during a cold day in the winter.

Question: I am a forgetful type person who at the same time is environmentally conscious. My problem is I like to turn the furnace way down when I leave the house and then turn it back up when I get home but I always forget. Is there any better way to run the system?

A: As a matter of fact, there may be help for you. These days controls systems have gotten quite fancy and many our actually programmable. You can do such things as set a timer to turn the heat down at the same time the last person leaves the house in the morning and then program it to go back up just before the first person arrives back home. Don’t worry, for those days you may be home unscheduled manually adjusting the system will not affect the programming of the controls. Call us with the make and model of your HVAC unit and we can better advise you as to what type of upgraded controls are available for your particular system.

Question: I have checked my air filters in my HVAC and they are brand new and clean, yet I am still having problems with low air flow in the system. Is there anything I can check to try and solve this problem?

A: Yes, there is. The next thing you should check in cases of low air flow through the system after the air filters is your vent pipe where the fresh air is brought into the system. Usually these are on the roof and sometimes critters and birds will nest in them and they can get plugged up so much little or no air gets into the system. If that is not the cause of the problem it is probably your system blower motor. Get near the unit and listen to see if its sounds like it is grinding or very squeaky when running. If it is you will need an HVAC professional to come take a look at it.