When the term "furnace"
is used within the context of heating a house, it's assumed to be a "forced-air"
furnace, not a blast-furnace or other type. The forced-air furnaces all
heat in the same method: by sucking in air, heating it, and blowing it
out. Thus, furnaces heat your home by heating the air inside it.
There are 4 major types of furnaces:
gas (natural gas & liquid propane), oil, electric, and solid fuel
(wood, wood pellets, corn, coal, etc...).Thy type of furnaces Furnace
Factory Direct sells are mostly natural gas and liquid propane
furnaces. Gas and oil burning furnaces both have 1 thing in common: the
The heat exchanger's sole function is to transfer heat from the burning
fuel to the air in your house, while keeping the exhaust fumes from mixing
with the air being heated. A metal barrier (steel, aluminized steel, or
stainless steel) separates the exhaust fumes from the air being heated.
If there is a hole or crack in the heat exchanger, then there is a chance
that the exhaust fumes enter the home, and thus the air that you breath.
This is called a critical failure, and means the heat exchanger must be
replaced immediately. For more information on heat exchangers, click
All furnaces require return air ducts
and supply air ducts. Return air ducts bring air from the rooms to the
furnace. Supply air ducts take air from the furnace, and distribute it
over the house through registers.
the difference between mid-efficiency and high-efficiency gas furnaces?
The efficiency ratings of furnaces
is measured in AFUE as a percentage. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization
Efficiency, and it's what furnace manufacturers use to inform us of the
efficiency of their equipment.
Standard efficiency gas furnaces
have efficiency rating of 60% to 70%. Mid-efficiency gas furnaces have
an AFUE rating of around 80%. High-efficiency gas furnaces (aka condensing
gas furnaces) have efficiency ratings in excess of 90%. To visualize what
the percentage means, deduct the efficiency from 100%. whatever you have
left is what the furnace doesn't use. Thus, for an 80% efficient gas furnace,
20% of the gas you purchase is going up the chimney. For a 93% efficient
(high-efficiency) gas furnace, only 7% of the gas purchased is going up
I purchase a 2-stage variable speed gas furnace?
There are 2 main reasons for purchasing
a variable-speed, 2-stage gas furnace: comfort and energy savings.
Comfort: a 2-stage variable speed
gas furnace distributes the air around your house more evenly, which results
in better heating or cooling distribution. These types of furnaces make
much less noise, which means less white noise in the background. Less
noise, better heat distribution = more comfort. Added bonus: you can run
your fan (blower) at low speed between heating or cooling cycles to allow
your filter to remove more dust from the air before it settles on your
furniture. Do you have allergies? If yes, then a variable speed furnace
with a high-efficiency air filter is the solution for you! Remove contaminants
from the air cost-effectively!
Energy Savings: Variable-speed blowers
use about 1/4 of the electricity standard motors use. This translates
to a savings of $200.00 to $250.00/ year per household! And to top it
off, variable speed furnaces make your air conditioner run more efficiently,
and help make your air conditioner remove humidity quicker from your home.
should I purchase a modulating variable speed gas furnace?
Along with the reasons for purchasing
a furnace with a variable speed blower system, consumers are now buying
a modulating gas furnace because it offers the maximum efficiency (95%)
throughout the entire modulating range. Modulating means
the furnace raises and lowers the heat output of your furnace automatically,
from 30% to 100%, and anywhere in between. Coleman modulating gas furnaces
offer 95% efficiency all through the modulation (from 30% to 100%), unlike
some other manufacturers that only offer their peak efficiency at two
points on their modulation range. They achieve this by having a variable
speed exhaust fan that guarantees the perfect fuel-to-air mixture at any
modulation. the reason other manufacturers can only guarantee maximum
efficiency at two modulation points is because they use a 2-speed exhaust
fan which can only offer peak efficiency at those speeds. As a result,
the overall efficiency of those modulating gas furnaces is lower than
the peak efficiency (read their brochures and they will admit that).
Another reason for purchasing a modulating
gas furnace is that the furnace will have longer run times than even the
2 stage models. This means even better warm air distribution, and fewer
colds spots in your home ever!
the difference between clamshell and tubular heat exchangers?
The heat exchangers refereed to here
are for gas forced-air furnace only.
A clamshell heat exchanger is constructed
of two pieces of flat steel (could be aluminized, could be bare, could
be stainless steel, etc...). The two pieces of sheet metal are stamped
with a concave shape. The two concave sides are pressed together, and
are either welded or folded over each other to create a cavity inside.
It's inside this cavity that the gas is burned.
A tubular heat exchanger is constructed
of a single or more tubes. It's inside the tube that the gas is burned.
The main differences are wall thickness
and seem length.
Wall thickness: the wall thickness
of the tubes used in tubular heat exchangers is larger than than the wall
thickness of clamshell heat exchangers. Thicker wall means it will take
more punishment before the wall fails.
Seam length: The seem length of a
tubular heat exchanger is less than 1/10th of the clamshell design. Seams
are typically where heat exchanger failures occur. Thus, with such a reduction
is seam length, the tubular heat exchanger has less than 1/10th the chance
to fail at the seam than the clamshell design.
Central air conditioning helps
keep your home cool and reduces humidity levels. By transferring heat
from air located inside your home to the outside, conditioned and cooled
air is left to be re-circulated. Using electricity as its power source,
the compressor inside an air conditioning unit pumps coolant, or refrigerant,
back and forth to gather heat and moisture from indoors. Warm air from
inside is blown over the cooling coil, which is connected to the compressor,
and then pumped back into your home.
The efficiency of central air conditioning
units is governed by U.S. law and regulated by the U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE). Every air conditioning unit is assigned an efficiency rating
known as its “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” (SEER). The
SEER is defined as the total cooling output (in British thermal units
or Btu) provided by the unit during its normal annual usage period divided
by its total energy input (in watt-hours) during the same period.
After of January 2006, no units
with a SEER rating lower than 13 will be produced in the USA. After June
2006, no unit with a SEER rating lower than 13 will be allowed into Canada.
is the difference between R-22 (freon) and R420(aka Puron, Environ, etc...)?
Let's define them first:
R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon
(HCFC). R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for
over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that HCFCs contain
chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent. For this reason, the United States
Clean Air Act has set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC
manufacturers must cease the production of products that use R-22.
R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC)
that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. R-410A is more
environmentally friendly than R-22 and is the most likely replacement
for R-22 by HVAC manufacturers. At the beginning of 2010, the use of alternate
refrigerant will be required in HVAC manufacturing.
Other than what is obvious from
above, the main difference is the equipment itself: the R410A system operate
at a higher pressure than the R22 machines. Thus, the equipment must be
manufactured to a higher pressure rating. Higher pressure ratings means
better equipment (thicker walls, better quality control etc...).
When you chose R410A as your refrigerant
of choice, you've made a choice for better equipment, lower energy costs
and as an added bonus, being more friendly to the environmentally
As of January 1st, 2006, no units
with SEER ratings lower than 13 will be produced in the USA. this means
that after that date, the minimum SEER rating you can purchase will be
13 SEER. At Furnace Factory Direct Inc. we recommend purchasing the minimum
SEER prior to January 1st 2006. The price levels and efficiencies make
it the best return on investment. After January 1st, 2006, you might be
interested in purchasing a 15 SEER unit or higher - and hopefully the
prices will make it attractive for our short Canadian summers.
The ideal location for the air
conditioner is typically a compromise. We try to find the out-or-the-way
location that is close tot he furnace room and the electrical panel. the
farther away the outdoor unit is from the furnace, the more it costs the
homeowner in installation costs. Proximity to neighbours is also a factor
- you don't want your unit impinging on your neighbour's property!
The best location is also one that
gets a lot of shade. The cooler your outside unit is, the less electricity
At Furnace Factory Direct Inc, we
select the location with you, and get you to agree on the exact location.
This way there's no surprises when the unit is installed!
The length of an installation can
be from a few hours to several days depending on the project. Typically,
a central air conditioning system can be installed in about 1/2 day. Most
furnace installations take a full day. If there is a furnace and A/C installation,
with oil tank removal, then it could be a full day, working late until
10:00PM, or 1.5 days.
DC - Direct Current. A type of
electrical current that only flows in one direction.
Damper - Found at the exit point
of ductwork, this plate usually contains grates that can be opened or
closed to control the flow of air into a zone.
Degree-Day - Calculated by subtracting
the average outdoor temperature for an area from 65º Fahrenheit. This
measurement is used to estimate the amount of heating or cooling a home
or building will need.
Dehumidifier - A device that
removes humidity, or moisture, from the air.
Diffuser - A grille over an air
supply duct with vanes that distribute the discharging air in a specific
pattern or direction.
DOE - Department of Energy.
Downflow Furnace - A furnace
with an intake on the top and an air discharge at the bottom.
Drain Pan - Also a condensate
pan. As the refrigerant vapor is liquefied, the drain pan collects the
condensate and funnels it to the drain line.
Dry Bulb Temperature - The temperature
as measured without the consideration of humidity.
Ductwork - A network of metal,
fiberboard or flexible material flowing throughout a space which delivers
air from an HVAC unit to the respective zones of a home or office.
Heat Exchanger - A device through
which heat is transferred to a cold area or surface.
Heat Gain - The amount of heat
added or created in a designated area.
Heating Coil - A coil that acts
as a heat source for a heating system.
Heat Loss - The amount of heat
subtracted from a designated area.
Heat Pump - A device used for
either the heating or cooling of a space by transferring heat between
Heat Transfer - Moving heat from
one media to another. Example: from your furnace's heat exchanger to the
air in your ductwork.
- Acronym, stands for "High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing"
or "High Efficiency Particulate Air". It is a classification
of a filter. It is commonly meant to rate filters that provide a minimum
removal of 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in the filter's rated
HSPF - Heating Seasonal Performance
Factor. This factor rates the efficiency of the heating portion of the
Humidifier - A device that adds
humidity (moisture) to the air. It accomplishes this by passing air through
a water-laden media (sponge or "fill" cartridge). The warm and
dry air absorbs some of the water particles, and then is mixed with the
air you breath.
Humidistat - The device that
measures humidity and turns the humidifier on and off.
Humidity - Dampness in the air
caused by water vapor.
Media - The fine material of
a filter that traps dirt, dust, mildew or bacteria.
- The acronym MERV stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value".
The MERV rating is the standard method for comparing the efficiency of
an air filter. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at
removing particles from the air. The MERV scale ranges from 1 (least efficient)
to 16 (most efficient), and measures a filter's ability remove particles
from 3 to 10 microns in size. Filters with higher ratings not only remove
more particles from the air, they also remove smaller particles. A typical
fiberglass furnace filter might be rated from 1 to 4 on the MERV scale.
A HEPA filter would be rated a 16. (However, the HEPA requirements are
substantially more stringent than a MERV rating of 16 -- therefore, filters
with a MERV rating of 16 are not necessarily HEPA-compliant.)
SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency
Ratio. A rating system developed by the U.S. Government to indicate the
efficiency level of cooling equipment. It's a measure of annual average
cooling efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump in BTUs per watt
of electricity. The minimum SEER rating allowed as of January 2006 is
13. Click here for more information.
Self-contained System - A package
Sensible Heat - Heat added or
subtracted that causes a change in temperature.
Sensor - A device that reacts
to a change in conditions.
Split System - An outdoor unit
combined with an indoor unit.
Deferred refers to when after the contract date
do you have to start paying the finance company. Thus, if you have a 6-month
deferral period, you don't have to make any payments units the first day
of the 7th month.
Zero-interest refers to the deferral period: you
won't be charged any interest on payments made BEFORE the deferral period
is over. However, any amounts owing AFTER the last day of your deferral
period will be subject to interest charges from the day of the contract
to that date. This said, it is always most favorable to pay off your loan
BEFORE the deferral period is over. "Example: You have a $1,000.00 loan,
and your deferral period is 6 months. You pay $500.00 any time BEFORE
the end of the sixth month. On the first day of the 7th month, you will
be charged 6 months of interest on $500.00, which works out to approximately
Wells Fargo Financial presently offers 3 types
of deferred payment plans: 3,6 & 12 months. The 3-month plan has no
administration fee. The amount of the contract is not changed. The
6-month plan has a 1.5% administration fee. This is added to your
contract with Furnace Factory Direct Inc. under "additional charges".
this is a fee levied upon us by the financing company. Essentially, it
is similar to a 6-month loan, at 3% interest. The 12-month plan carries
a 6 % administration fee, being comparable to a 6% loan.
You can pay whenever you wish, as long as you
make your regular payments after the deferral period ends. You can even
pay before your deferral period ends. It is most-advantageous to you to
pay off the loan completely before the end of the deferral period. This
way you don't get charged any interest. Remember this: any amounts owed
when the deferral period is over, will be charged interest. for the entire
deferral period. Read "What
does "zero interest deferred payments" mean?"
for more information.
There are 2 basic categories of warranties:: Included
Warranties and Extended Warranties".
Under the "Included Warranties" category are the following:Parts Warranty
and Heat Exchanger (or compressor) warranty. These warranties are described
cover a duration of typically 5 years, but some models come with 10 years
parts warranty. This means that all parts are warranted against defects
in materials and workmanship under normal use and maintenance from the
date of installation and for the term of the warranty. It is possible
to extend the parts warranty with Extended Warranties, and your Furnace
Factory Direct energy consultant can assist you in selecting the best
plan for your needs.
Here is an excerpt from one of Goodman's Warranties, which is typical
of this industry: "As its only
responsibility, and your only remedy, Goodman will furnish a replacement
part, without charge for the part only, to replace any part that is found
to be defective due to workmanship or materials under normal use and maintenance.
For warranty credit, the defective part must be returned to a Goodman
heating and air conditioning part must be returned to a Goodman heating
and air conditioning" Translation: The parts warranty only covers
the supply of the replacement part, but NOT the LABOUR to replace it.
Labour warranties are covered under Extended Warranty Plans.
are warranties that are purchased to extend the Included
Warranty. The warranties include increasing the parts warranty
& labour coverage. They are sometimes offered at rebated prices or
sometimes for free depending on the promotions available at that time.
Extended warranties are a separate contract between you and the manufacturer
of the equipment. The manufacturer is guarantying payment to the approved
contractor for parts and labour, based on a set rate. What is not covered
is after-hours or holiday rates. Usually, those rates are rated a "time
& a half or double-time" What that means, is we charge out a
set labour rate, and the rate is multiplied by 1.5 or 2 depending on the
time and date (i.e. Christmas at 7:00 PM would be charged at double-time,
normal weekday at 7:00 PM would be charged at 1.5 times the normal rate).
If you wanted warranty labour to be done during after-hours, then you
would have to pay for the portion above regular time. Ex: if you had a
4-hour labour charge, and the if regular rate was $75.00 per hour, and
you wanted the work done after hours on a non-holiday, you would have
to pay $37.50 / hour in order to have the work done then. Exception: if
there is warranty work for a no-heat situation during winter, that required
during the daytime on a holiday, the labour would be covered by the manufacturer,
and there are no extra surcharge rates. This only applies to Furnace Factory
Direct customers who purchased gas furnaces with the extended warranty
Your primary contact is Furnace Factory Direct
Inc. We are authorized UPGnet and Goodcare dealer. this means we are authorized
to perform warranty by Coleman and Goodman to perform warranty labour
As an alternative to Furnace Factory Direct, there
are many UPGnet and Goodcare dealers in the Ottawa area that are authorized
to perform the warranty labour on your equipment (depending on the brand).
Thus, you are covered by an umbrella of companies authorized to perform
To keep your furnace and air conditioner operating
at peak efficiency. When the heat transfer surface of the furnace and
air conditioner (indoor evaporator coil located on top of your furnace)
gets covered in dirt (dust, etc...), it requires more energy to achieve
the same load. For heating, this means you will consume more gas and
electricity to heat your home, and for air conditioning, you would use
more electricity to cool your home.
For health reasons: indoor contaminants, such
as dust, smoke particles, pollen and some bacteria (just a few examples),
are removed form the air you breath. This is extremely helpful for those
with allergies and/or asthma sufferers. Indoor air pollution is a major
concern today, and good filtration helps a lot in achieving clean and
safe indoor air.
Helps keep your house cleaner. When air is
in motion, the dust particles are carried with it. If you keep your
furnace's blower (fan) on, those dust particles are carried to the furnace
By filtering those duct particles out, you reduce the amount of dust
in the air, thus reducing the amount of dust that settles onto your
furniture. Thus, good filtration helps keep
your house clean.
Better home theater experience. This one is
a bit extreme, but home theater enthusiasts that use digital projectors
frown upon dust in the air. the dust particles show up like fireflies,
and are a distraction. Proper filtration removes these dust particles,
and thus solve this problem.
It all depends on your requirements and expectations,
along with what kind of heating and cooling system you have. You will
require at least (in order to preserve
the warranty of your equipment) the standard fiberglass, throw-away
1" thick filter. this offers the least amount of protection, and
lets through a significant amount of particles. For allergy
sufferers, we recommend a minimum of a MERV-10 rated pleated media
here for product information). For Asthma
Suffers, or those with serious
allergies, we recommend a Certified True HEPA (High Efficiency
Particulate Air - click here for definition) combined
with a MERV-10 media filter. The HEPA filter combined with with the MERV-10
media filter will greatly improve the air you breath. Click
here for product information. Viruses,
however, are small enough get by these filters. If viral
infections, or spreading of colds
is a concern (i.e. kids bringing home a virus from school), then you have
2 options: 1) installing and electronic air cleaner in place of the media
air cleaner. or installing an ultra-violet air cleaner. Both will remove
and/or kill viruses. The Ultra-violet has the additional advantage of
preventing your air conditioner's evaporator pan (pan on top of your furnace
that collects water from the humid summer air. It's an environment for
mold and bacteria to grow in.) from spreading mold and bacteria from your
furnace throughout your home. We believe that the ultimate home filtration
system is a combination of the EAHEPA, with the EAMU MERV-10 filter with
the Sanuvox R-4000X Ultra-Violet air cleaner. Click
here for product information on Electronic Air Cleaners. Click
here for product information on Ultra-Violet Air Cleaners.
This depends on what type of filter(s) you have,
and the loading (loading refers to the amount of particles the filter
has trapped). Essentially, you must replace the filter once it starts
to reduce the air flow excessively. This can result in your furnace's
heat exchanger over-heating, your safety limits getting damaged; it can
even create a fire hazard1 It is also the leading cause of air conditioner
services calls: a plugged filter can cause the evaporator coil to "freeze
up". this happens when the airflow over the coil is insufficient,
and ice forms on the coil's surface.
1" thick filters should be replaced one a
month during the months of operation. 5" think media filters (MERV-10)
should be replaced once a year. HEPA filter, however, don't have a fixed
time to replace them. they should be periodically inspected, and replaced
when it is visibly loaded with particles.
If you have an electronic air cleaner, then you
don't replace the internal components, you clean them. We recommend cleaning
them once a month. Follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.
a U.V. light replace my requirement for an air filter?
No. An Ultra-Violet air cleaner (a.k.a. air purifier)
does not replace your air filter - it enhances it greatly. It doesn't
protect your furnace and air conditioner from dirt build-up on their heat
transfer surfaces. It does, however, gives you that final "kill anything
in its path before it gets to your lungs" protective barrier. It
greatly helps remove odours from the air too.
an outdoor air conditioning/heat pump unit needs replacing, should the
indoor unit be replaced too?
Yes. Air conditioning and heating units are designed
to operate as a complete, matched system. The efficiency rating is based
on the entire system. Replacing the entire system ensures the system will
be reliable and efficient. In some cases, the existing refrigerant lines
can be kept. The technician on-site will determine of the existing refrigerant
lines are: a) sized correctly for the new equipment, and b) free of contaminants,
and c) show no signs of wear & tear, damage, etc... If Furnace Factory
Direct installs an air conditioning system, but opts (i.e. the technician
approves the condition of the lines) to keep the existing refrigerant
lines, Furnace Factory Direct will include the existing refrigerant lines
as part of the new system's warranty coverage. Any leaks in the refrigerant
lines would be treated as if Furnace Factory Direct installed new lines,
and would be repaired free of charge during the period of warranty coverage.
shrubs or flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?
Yes. However, we recommend that plants be no closer
than 18 inches (45 cm) to the unit. This allows for plenty of room for
air circulation in and out of the unit. Without this room for air circulation,
the unit could overheat, resulting in a premature need for service, excessive
wear, excessive electrical consumption and possible compressor failure.
a thermostat's fan setting/switch be set to "auto" or "on"?
This depends ont he type of furnace you have.
If you have a furnace equipped with D.C. (E.C.M) variable
speed motor, then yes. This is one benefit of the variable speed motor:
you can affordably operate your blower 24 hours a day because it circulates
the air in between demand cycles at a lower rate, and uses a lot less
energy than a conventional blower motor.
If, however, you have a furnace equipped with
a conventional motor, you should operate the fan in Auto mode. That way,
the fan operates only when the temperature requires it. This is the most
used and the most efficient setting. However, there are advantages to
using the "on" setting. Air is constantly filtered through the
unit's air filter, and the constantly circulating air results in an even
temperature throughout the house.
This marks the end or our Frequently
Asked Questions section. If you didn't see your question answered, just
give us a call at (613) 829-8186 or toll-free
or e-mail us at email@example.com