Keep your HVAC system running smooth this winter

By David DeRocco

Tips you can use from a local expert

The average cost of a new high efficiency furnace including installation ranges anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000 including installation. As the heart of your HVAC system, the furnace plays a vital role in both your home comfort and your air quality. It’s a high-ticket item that you don’t want to have to replace too often, which is why regular preventative maintenance is a good idea, especially during the high-use winter months.

“Your HVAC system is one of the most expensive investments you make in your house,” said Tracy Burgess, Service Manager at Carleton Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning. “It provides year-round function, assisting with cooling in summer and providing heat in winter. It’s an important piece of equipment to keep well-maintained.”

Burgess suggests a good rule of thumb for preventative maintenance is to have your system cleaned and inspected twice a year – in the spring to ensure your AC systems are fully functional, and once in the fall to ensure your furnace is ready for winter.

The fall inspection starts with a thorough check of all gas or propane connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. These elements are the heart and soul of your HVAC system, and improper connections could be a fire hazard or contribute to health problems should there be even the tiniest leak.

“A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation,” said Burgess. “Either issue can result in the equipment operating unsafely, especially in the case of a cracked heat exchanger, and lowering efficiency.”

A proper service will also include things like a thermostat setting check, a tightening of all electrical connects and a measure of voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections on any equipment running constantly in your home can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of the internal components inside your HVAC system.

Not all elements of a proper preventative maintenance check up have to be conducted by a professional.  You can aid in the proper operation of your system by regularly cleaning or changing of your furnace filter, especially if you have pets.

“Changing the filter regularly is a simple way to help increase the lifespan of your furnace,” said Burgess. “When your filter is clogged or dirty, your furnace has to work much harder. For the price of a filter, you can improve your home’s indoor air quality while extending the life of your furnace. You don’t have to buy the most expensive filters either. Anything you do to help improve air flow through the system is beneficial.”

One other thing you can do to help your furnace last longer is to have a programmable thermostat installed. This permits the system to take short breaks from round-the-clock operation by setting temperatures for when you’re home.  These short breaks go a long way to ensure your HVAC unit has a long healthy operation cycle.

For more information or to book your service call, visit Carleton Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning at 150 Industrial Ave, Carleton Place, or online at Call them at 613-257-8282 or 1-866-557-8282.

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