Frequently Asked Questions

Heating and Plumbing

Frequently Asked Questions

Heating and Plumbing

Boiler Services Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a boiler and a water heater?

A boiler’s function is to heat water in order to heat the home. This usually requires water being heated to very high temperatures.

A water heater specifically heats water for taking showers, for the laundry or other domestic uses. This does not usually require water to be heated to such high temperatures as with a boiler.

How do I know if I have a boiler or a water heater?

It is quite easy to tell. If you have a heating system with radiators and pipes in your home, then you have a boiler system for heating (sometimes called a hydronic heating system).

Alternatively, you may have a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system for heating your home and a water heater that heats water for use around the home.

Can I use a boiler to heat water and my home?

This is possible using a “combi” boiler system. These are highly efficient, modern systems that negate the need for a separate hot water tank.

Not only are combi systems efficient in terms of energy usage and cost-effective for heating. They can also help save valuable space in your home as they are very compact in design and can be mounted on the wall.

How often should I service my boiler?

Your boiler should be serviced once a year. This will prevent problems and extend its life.

Can a high-efficiency boiler save me money? What are the other benefits?

One of the benefits of a high-efficiency boiler is cost-saving. Their extra efficiency means that they require less gas to heat the home effectively and they also lose less energy.

Another benefit is their space-saving ability: units are often compact and wall mountable.

It is worth noting that specific characteristic of a high efficiency boiler is that they have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 90% and above.

Furnace Services Frequently Asked Questions

How much can a new furnace home heating solution cost?

If you are looking at a brand-new furnace system for heating your home, the cost will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The size of your home
  • The required level of efficiency for your furnace system
  • The condition of existing ductwork

If buying a new system is out of your budget, you can consider renting. Speak to an Alpha Plumbing technician to understand your options and estimated costs.

Should I get my furnace professionally installed?

Yes – absolutely! Few people have the technical skills required to install furnaces themselves. Furnaces are complex systems, and you don’t want to take any chances. Mistakes can be costly and dangerous for the household.

How often should I service my furnace?

Your furnace should ideally be serviced once a year. This will prevent problems and extend the life of your heating system.

What does a furnace maintenance tune-up consist of?

A tune-up is often performed at the same time as the annual checkup of your furnace.

By ensuring that all parts are operating at full efficiency, you ensure that your furnace remains energy-efficient and is not going to pack up when you can least afford it to (in midwinter)

How often should I clean or replace my furnace air filter?

Ideally, your furnace’s disposable air filters should be replaced once every three months or more often.

Some filters are washable, and it’s best to clean these monthly to maintain air quality and peak efficiency of your system.

What is the difference between a furnace and a heat pump?

A furnace system heats air or water using gas or electricity, circulating it throughout the home’s heating system.

Heat pumps do not generate heat from a fuel source. Instead, they heat and cool a home using outside air, allowing it to be moved from one area to another according to the changing needs of a home throughout the seasons.

Pipe Fitting Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gas pipe fitter?

A gas pipe fitter is a licensed professional who installs and services gas pipes, associated fixtures, and appliances.

A gas pipe fitter is often called upon when renovating or changing energy systems within a home, or when adding extra rooms or a gas line to the backyard.

How do I know if I have a boiler or a water heater?

Installing any gas lines or appliances must be done by a licensed gas fitter to ensure safety, efficiency of performance, and that you pass building inspection.

A professional gas pipe fitter has the appropriate training and experience to ensure all the work is done according to industry standards. Very few homeowners are qualified to do this.

Can I use a boiler to heat water and my home?

Gas fitting projects include installations for home renovations, new home builds, and both indoor and outdoor projects, as well as general servicing of existing gas lines and appliances.

Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fix / repair work done by previous plumbers?

Yes, if you have received sub-standard plumbing work previously, we can fix it up and repair any problems that resulted.

How do I prevent the city sewer lines from backing up into my home?

You can prevent this by keeping drains clean and by proper use and maintenance of the plumbing system in your home. You may need a backwater valve installed as a worst case scenario. Contact Alpha Plumbing as soon as possible to identify the cause of water backing up into your home.

Can you install backwater valves?

Yes, we can install backwater valves. Contact us to schedule an appointment if you need a backwater valve installed to prevent outbound water backups in your home or business.

Can you fix my furnace, boiler or water heater?

Yes, we can fix all of the major furnace, boiler, and water heater brands used in homes and businesses in Calgary.

Do you have to open a wall to find a leak? Can you use a moisture detector instead?

Currently, we occasionally need to open a wall to detect a leak.

However, in the near future, we will have our own forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera equipment so that we can more easily view into pipes and detect moisture inside of walls.

This will lead to a decreased need for opening walls in order to prevent the type of moisture and mold problems that result from weather-related damage.

Do you perform Poly B pipe repair and fixes?

Yes, we repair Poly B pipe. This is the type used in many Calgary homes built between the 1970s and the 1990s. This pipe develops leaks and should be replaced before it results in water damage to your home.

Do you repair or replace shower valves, faucets and shower heads?

Yes. While we don’t repair appliances, replacing the old home shower valve and introducing more reliable parts makes for easy home improvements.

WHY CHOOSE Alpha Plumbing

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Our certified technician Calgary plumbers are not your stereotypical sloppy, unkempt plumbers from days past. Our team takes pride in showing up at your house or place of business in a clean uniform, ready to tackle your plumbing and heating issues. We treat your home with caution and respect, ensuring a friendly, positive experience.

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Our Alpha Plumbing team deals directly with each and every one of our valued customers, making ourselves available for constant communication. Our personal, individualized service approach leaves our customers feeling connected and well taken care of. In short, we listen to your needs and will not rest until you are satisfied.

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Alpha Plumbing’s president, Dan Di Lembo, possesses over a decade of professional trade experience from resolving issues both big and small. Whatever your specific situation may be, chances are we have the experience to find the solution.

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We work with you to find products and solutions that fit your individual style and budget. We make sure our rates are competitive, ensuring our customers receive both a high-quality and high-value experience.

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You can rest easy knowing that the job is getting done with licensed, certified, and insured expert precision.

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Our technicians can service any commercial or residential plumbing need quickly and efficiently.

Need HVAC and Plumbing Service?

Contact the experts at Alpha Plumbing.

Call us at 403-470-5785!