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Air Conditioners

1. How large of a central air conditioning unit do I need for my home?

This depends on many variables:

  • The quantity and quality of the insulation along with the direction your home faces.
  • The size of your ductwork
  • The type and quality of both windows and window coverings
  • How many people live in the home
  • The personal comfort level required by those living in the home
  • Square footage of the home
  • The capacity of the furnace

2. How often should we service our air conditioning equipment?

Central air conditioning should be serviced annually to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency and to guarantee manufacturer warranty coverage.

3. Is central air conditioning easily adapted to my gas furnace?

Yes and no. If your furnace is older than 15 years it is often more difficult due to the fact that the fans or blowers may not be large enough to accommodate the additional air-flow needed to make your air conditioner operate at peak efficiency. Also, older furnaces are generally not prewired for air conditioning, meaning additional work may be needed to accommodate air conditioning.

4. Why would my central air conditioner fail to reach the thermostat set temperature?

Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty air filter can block air flow. If both the fan and compressor are coming on, there may be a low charge. If only the fan is coming on, the compressor could be burned up.

5. Do I need to change my indoor coil when replacing my central air conditioner?

It is generally a good idea to replace the indoor coil if you are also replacing your air conditioner. Changing the indoor coil may be critical to optimizing performance, efficiency and the savings potential of your new system.

6. What are ductless split and mini-split air conditioning systems?

Ductless split and mini-split air conditioners are made up of two parts. The outdoor compressor and indoor wall-mounted units are connected to each other only by a refrigerant line, rather than ductwork. These systems are easier to install in places that don’t have ductwork or where it wouldn’t be practical to fit ducts in. They also allow you to control the temperature in the room where the cooling takes place.

7. Is a ductless split air conditioning system right for me?

Ductless splits are a good option for a lot of people, particularly those who don’t already have ducts in place in their home. Mini-splits are great for additions when you don’t want to pay to extend the ducts.

Air Exchangers

1. Why should I have an air exchanger?

Removing excess humidity, airborne pollutants and odors from your home is done with proper ventilation. Indoor air contains 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air and on average, people are spending 90% of their time indoors. If one of your family members suffers from headaches, chronic fatigue, poor concentration’ respiratory conditions, aggravated allergies, asthma or bronchitis, proper ventilation with an air exchanger may be your solution.

2. How does an air exchanger work?

An HRV or ERV has two fans, one to exhaust stale air from the house, one to supply fresh air into the house and a heat exchanger to transfer heat or energy from one airstream into another. During the winter, heat is transferred from the warm indoor exhaust air into the cold outdoor supply air, inside the HRV heat exchanger. In the summer, heat is transferred from the warm outdoor supply air into the cool indoor exhaust air inside the HRV heat exchanger, reducing the temperature of the fresh air coming in.

3. What is the difference between a HRV and an ERV?

HRV’s (Heat Recovery Ventilators) are ideal for colder climates, like most of Canada, where homes need to be heated the majority of the year whereas ERV’s (Energy Recovery Ventilators) work in all climates, especially locations with hot, humid summers, where air conditioning is used most of the year.

Air Purifiers

1. What is a HEPA filter?

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. They were developed to capture radioactive dust particles and they take care of common allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust, etc. A HEPA filter removes 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns.

2. What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is an appliance that reduces the concentration of airborne contaminants in a designated area or the entire home according to the specifications of that particular air purifier. This is helpful for people suffering from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity and other respiratory-related problems.


1. How often should I have my gas fireplace serviced?

The same answer applies to a gas fireplace as it does to a gas furnace. However, a gas fireplace should never miss annual maintenance due to the type of flame they have. In order to give a more natural appearance, the flame produces more carbon than a furnace. Producing more carbon means the burner must be cleaned by a gas technician in order to avoid carbon build-up which can lead to premature failure.

2. Why do I need a special glass cleaner for my fireplace?

Regular glass cleaner does not contain the same ingredients and chemicals strong enough to remove the white haze and black carbon build-up produced from burning natural gas. In fact, if regular glass cleaner is used on your fireplace glass, it will be damaged and not be covered by your manufacturer’s warranty. Always check your owner’s manual for recommended procedures and to make sure you’re in compliance with your manufacturer’s warranty.

3. How do I light the pilot on my gas fireplace?

  • Make sure your main gas supply is on and that your remote receiver is set to “off”
  • Turn the fireplace on/pilot/off dial to the ‘pilot’ setting
  • Press down on the dial while it’s on the ‘pilot’ setting while you press the ignitor (may have to press it a few times before it ignites)
  • Once the pilot is lit, continue to hold for about 30 seconds to allow it to heat up
  • Release the dial and the pilot should stay lit. If the pilot does not stay lit, repeat the above procedure. (If pilot continues to not stay lit give Don’s Heating a call and we will come fix it for you!)
  • If the pilot stays lit, turn the dial to the ‘on’ position and the remote receiver to the ‘remote’ position.
  • Now it is lit and you can adjust the flame using the remote or dial beneath the fireplace.

4. What information should I have when looking to purchase a fireplace?

  • Pictures of where you would like the fireplace installed. Make sure to take pictures of the outside wall of this area
  • Determine the distance from windows and doors
  • Determine how far the main gas supply is from where you would like the fireplace installed
  • If you are looking to put a new fireplace into an old existing wood burning fireplace know all of the dimensions of the fireplace cavity (width, depth, height)
  • If you would like your fireplace installed at floor level, know what material your flooring in that area is


1. How often should my furnace filter be replaced?

This depends on the type of filter you use and the amount of time the blower or fan operates on your furnace. The more time the fan operates the more frequent any filter will have to be replaced. The larger the surface area on any given filter means the filter will have to be replaced less often. If you have a typical 1” filter, you should replace it once a month on average. Some filters are changed every 3 months while others can last for as long as a year.

2. How often should my furnace be serviced?

Gas furnaces should be serviced annually, to ensure the equipment is operating at peak efficiency and to guarantee manufacturer warranty coverage.

3. My furnace is 15-20 years old, is it worth replacing it before it breaks down?

If your furnace quits in the middle of winter, being left in the cold is the last thing you want. If you’ve been suggested by a contractor that your furnace needs replacing and it is 15-20 years old it is a good idea to take the advice. If it is the cost of a new furnace that is stopping you, consider that older models may deliver as little as 55% of their heat to the home whereas a new model can be up to 97%, therefore saving money in heating costs.

4. What does my furnace warranty cover?

Under standard manufacturer’s warranties, parts that fail during the warranty period due to a defect in the part are covered, but it does not cover labor. A warranty certificate should have been provided with your new equipment specific to your unit.

5. I’ve found the arrows on my furnace filter, what does this tell me?

The arrow should point in the same direction as the airflow which in most cases will be towards the furnace, in between the return air and furnace.

6. Why are furnace filters so important?

The average person breathes in over 35,000 pints of air each day, which is filled with billions of dust particles and allergens. Your furnace filter cleans your indoor air significantly. Although filter maintenance will not lower your bills, your health benefits are numerous and it has been proven that a well maintained furnace with special attention paid to replacing the filter will prolong the life expectancy and cut down repairs to blowers or other components exposed to dust damage.

7. What is the most important factor when replacing a furnace?

Proper sizing provides the best comfort and efficiency. Don’t think ‘bigger is better’ or ‘smaller is cheaper’. If the furnace is too large it heats to quickly and shuts off, whereas if it is too small it will not be able to heat the house to the desired temperature on cold days. Either too big or too small will result in temperature swings in your home.


1. Why would I want to install a humidifier?

For many reasons:

  • The air in your home will absorb water wherever it can; from your skin, your pets, your furniture and even your house plants. This can result in a dry throat and nasal passages, physical discomfort and leaves you more susceptible to cold, flu and infection.
  • Dry air cracks expensive woodwork, floors, artwork and furnishings
  • Static electricity that is caused by dry air can damage computers, DVD players and other electronic equipment
  • Dry air causes gaps in window and door frames, letting cold air in and increasing your heating costs

    2. What should my humidifier be set at?

    The ideal humidity for a home is between 35-50% . However, this depends on both the outdoor temperature and your family’s personal comfort level.

    3. How often should I change the humidifier pad?

    You should replace the humidifier pad at least once a year. Minerals will build up on the pad over time, reducing its ability to absorb water and also preventing warm air from flowing through the pad.

Gas Appliance Red Tags

A red tag, also known as a product warning tag, may be placed on a gas appliance by a licensed technician to indicate that it is no longer safe to operate and either needs to be repaired or replaced. In certain instances, the technician is required by law to turn off the gas as a safety measure to protect the residents of the home.

1. Why have I received a warning tag?

Warning tags are issued on any appliance or piping system that uses natural gas when a licensed gas technician has identified a hazardous issue.
For example, if a defective heat exchanger is identified, it can release carbon monoxide, an odourless and colourless gas, which can cause serious health problems if undetected. Carbon monoxide is harmful because it can rapidly accumulate in the blood, reducing the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

If carbon monoxide is leaking from a cracked heat exchanger, there is a chance of it mixing with the air that is generated by the furnace and pushed through the vents in your home.
To prevent this danger, a red tag is applied to your furnace, your local utility is notified, and your natural gas is turned off.

2. Types of warning tags

  • Type A: If a licensed technician has identified an immediate danger, for example, a severe carbon monoxide leak, your furnace gets a Type A red tag and your natural gas will be turned off right away.
  • Type B: If the furnace does not pose an immediate danger to the homeowner, a Type B warning tag will be applied to the furnace and the local utility notified. This tag gives the customer a specified period of time to have the equipment repaired or replaced. If corrective action is not taken within the stipulated timeline, your natural gas will be turned off by the local utility,

3. What should I do if I receive a warning tag?

If you received a warning tag, you should immediately call us to inspect your equipment. In some cases, a furnace can repaired but in more serious cases, the equipment often needs to be replaced. Dealing with natural gas, water and electricity requires extreme care. Our experienced, licensed technicians approach all jobs with safety as a priority.

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