How frequently should my furnace and air conditioner be cleaned and serviced?
It is a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and checked on a yearly basis. Older furnaces should have the heat exchanger and venting inspected and the burners cleaned yearly. This will help insure that your furnace is safe and operates at peak performance. Proper maintenance of the air conditioning system will reduce operating costs and increase the life span of the equipment. I recommend that air conditioning units be cleaned and serviced at least every other year.
What does the term SEER mean?
The term SEER refers to Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating the more cost effective that product is to operate. An air conditioner with a SEER of 16 is twice as efficient as a system with an 8 SEER rating.
What is the difference between a condensing (high-efficient) furnace and a non-condensing (mid-efficient) furnace?
High-efficient condensing furnaces are 90% or more efficient, where as non-condensing furnaces are roughly 80% efficient. High-efficient furnaces are condensing and therefore need to be drained. They are also vented with a plastic or PVC pipe directly outside. Mid-efficient furnaces do not need drain hook ups and are vented with metal pipe into a masonry chimney. They do, however, require a metal chimney liner when being vented into a masonry chimney.
How much can I expect to save on my energy costs by replacing my old furnace?
Replacing a conventional gas furnace with a mid-efficient one will result in a savings of between 23 and 28 percent. If a conventional furnace is replaced with a high-efficient one, fuel savings can be as high as 38 percent. If the furnace chosen for replacement contains ECM fan motors additional savings can be gained on reduced hydro consumption. To calculate what you will save by replacing a conventional furnace go to the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Canada or www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca
What is the warranty period on products installed today?
The warranty period for most HVAC products has improved over the last few years. Furnaces generally have 5 years on all parts and 20 or more years on the heat exchangers. Air conditioners usually have 5 years on all parts and an additional 5 years on the compressor. Some manufacturers are now offering up to 10 year warranties on all parts for both furnaces and air conditioning. Easterbrook Brothers also covers new installations with a one year labour warranty.