As your friendly Calgary plumbers, we want to make sure that you are not just warm this winter, but also safe! And to keep you warm and safe it’s important that we remind you of some yearly upkeep around the house as we head into winter.
Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about your furnace or boiler, and also the threat of carbon monoxide leaks.
Yearly Furnace Maintenance
The first thing to do each year when planning your fall furnace maintenance is to call us and book your service appointment.
Aside from that, you should also check the furnace filter and change it if needed, ideally before starting up the furnace for the first time. Check your filter once a month throughout the winter for optimum efficiency and the health of your family.
We will check everything else to ensure you don’t find yourself unexpectedly without heat this winter and that you are safe from undetectable levels of carbon monoxide.
Yearly Boiler Maintenance
Like with a furnace, the first step in fall boiler maintenance is to call us for your annual service appointment.
You can also check the axiom tank (or glycol feeder) to make sure it’s full of fluid glycol. Check this periodically throughout the winter to ensure it is never empty.
Each fall once the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius, it’s a good idea to crank the thermostat to make sure the house is being heated — better to find out at that point than when you really need the heat.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Now is also the time to check that carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. Use the test button on the detector to make sure it’s functioning, and ensure that there are working batteries in the device.
Unfortunately, carbon monoxide detectors don’t catch everything, so it’s smart to pay attention to any symptoms you or your family may experience during the winter months: headaches that go away when you leave the house, or feeling generally run down for no discernible reason are signs that you might have higher-than-safe carbon monoxide levels in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors generally sound an alarm once levels reach 70 ppm, the level at which this colourless, odourless gas can cause severe or fatal health complications. But it can make you sick at much lower levels.
In the past, one of our customers, a stay-at-home dad, had been suffering with a runny nose and headaches for months when he called us to have a look at his furnace. One of our technicians paid him a visit and as they waited to get a reading on their (more sensitive) carbon monoxide detector, the technician developed a pounding headache (this was within just a few minutes). He checked the detector and found that the carbon monoxide level in the home was 50 ppm — too low for a home detector to alert the homeowner, but high enough that this dad had been feeling under the weather for months.
This is exactly what your yearly furnace maintenance is good for — we check for cracks, leaks, and damaged and dirty parts to keep you healthy and save you money on heating bills!