Home Heating Installations for Calgary Homes
Choosing the right furnace and having it installed by trusted professionals can save you years of headaches—not to mention freezing winter mornings in your home.
We always forget how much we rely on our furnace to heat our home until it breaks down. Older furnaces that frequently run into problems may need replacing.
The trusted team at Alpha Plumbing can help you select and install your new furnace so that, with proper furnace maintenance, it does its job for many years into the future.
Our Furnace Home Heating Services in Calgary
Most homeowners only order furnace services when something goes wrong. Preventative furnace maintenance saves you from the constant threat of sudden breakdowns.
Our furnace installers are licensed and background-checked, delivering high-quality heating equipment featuring energy-efficient technology. Contact Alpha Plumbing to learn more.
Furnace Maintenance and Tune Up
A clean furnace and a routine tune-up ensures that your furnace is not using more energy than necessary—helping to maintain efficiency and optimal performance as well.
If you have furnace home heating concerns, call Alpha Plumbing today.
How a Furnace Works: A Quick Overview
Understanding the basics of how a furnace works can help you look for the right things when selecting a furnace for your home.
Most furnaces in Calgary, AB, have the following key components:
- Thermostat: measures the temperature of the air in your home and adjusts it according to your settings
- Burners: if the air in the home needs heating, fuel is sent to the burners, which light and heat the heat exchanger
- Blower motor/heat exchanger: a blower circulates air over the heat exchanger and it is warmed
- Ductwork: the hot air is carried around the home through the ductwork
Furnace Installation: What to Expect
Selecting the right furnace is only half the battle with heating your home efficiently. Installing it makes a big difference too.
At Alpha Plumbing, our licensed technicians provide furnace installation services that not only get your system up and running—but keep it that way.
Because of our experience in installing, maintaining, and repairing all types of heating systems, you can depend on our team to get the job done professionally and safely, with the minimum of upheaval and leaving your home the way we found it—only a little warmer!
We will answer any questions you may have before, during, and after the installing process and ensure that you know how your furnace and thermostat operate before we leave.
It will help us if you can clear the installation area before our team arrives and ensure that there are no children or pets in the vicinity. Before we leave, we will conduct thorough safety tests.
Furnace Installation Costs
Before you can estimate the cost of a furnace, it helps to understand what type of furnace you are looking at. All furnaces can help keep you warm in winter but they do it in different ways—largely depending on what type of fuel they use.
Natural gas furnace installation costs
Average cost of furnace + installation: $5,500 to $7,500 + HST
Natural gas remains the most common fuel to power furnaces in Calgary, homes. It is cost-effective and reasonably environmentally friendly. Most homes here have a gas line except those in more rural areas.
Propane furnace installation costs
Average cost of furnace + installation: We currently do not offer propane furnace installs
Where natural gas is not available, a propane furnace is a good option. While the units themselves and the cost of installation are manageable, heating costs vary greatly depending on the efficiency of the furnace you select.
Electric furnace installation costs
Average cost of furnace + installation: We currently do not offer electric furnace installs
Electric furnaces are very efficient and relatively simple and affordable to install, but electricity prices are high and this increases the running costs.
Furnace Installations for Your Home
Which Factors Affect Furnace Installation Costs?
When you consider the overall costs of a new furnace, the installation costs are a major component, as well as the upfront cost of the unit. Your total costs are influenced by:
- The location of your home: some rural areas don’t have access to propane or gas lines, which could affect your furnace options (is electricity or oil your only option?)
- The type of furnace: the quality, energy efficiency, size, space requirements and so on all vary between furnace brands and this will affect the overall furnace installation costs.
- The difficulty of installation/labour costs: for difficult installations, more man-hours are required and if you are upgrading from a smaller to a larger furnace, more space may need to be created.
- Size of home/unit: the square footage of your home will affect the size of the furnace you require. Homes on average in Calgary need around 100,000 BTUs of heating capability.
- Your previous furnace type: if you are switching from an electric furnace to a gas furnace (or vice versa), this will increase your installation costs as gas lines may need to be installed and additional ductwork may be necessary
What to Consider With a New Furnace Installation
Your choice of fuel is only one consideration of many when selecting and installing a new furnace. The following four factors are also important.
First up, a load calculation considers all the factors that affect the heating requirements in your home, including house size, location, foundation type, window type, location, and other factors.
One of our qualified furnace technicians can help you with a load calculation so that you select the right size and type of furnace for your home.
You need a furnace with a sufficient heating capacity (BTU) to heat your home but not one that eats up fuel unnecessarily. Generally, homes in Calgary need 30 to 60 BTUs for every square foot of living space, depending on the age of the home.
A furnace technician from Calgary can help you calculate this so that you select a furnace with the right heating capacity to keep you warm all winter.
The annualized fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating measures how energy efficient a furnace is at converting its fuel source into heat. So, the true heating capacity of a furnace considers the AFUE rating and the BTU reading. This will help you compare different furnaces more accurately.
If a furnace has an AFUE of 85 percent, it turns 85 percent of the energy to heat, with 15 percent lost. A unit with a BTU rating of 100,000, therefore, is really only 85,000.
New furnaces usually come with generous warranties (5 to 10 years) that will protect your new investment if you maintain it regularly with a qualified furnace technician. You may also be able to purchase an extended warranty for an additional fee.
Furnace Installation Process
The most popular type of furnace in Calgary homes is a forced-air gas furnace. The following steps cover the basic installation process:
- Select your furnace: choose from a variety of brands, BTU/AFUE ratings, etc.
- Select the location for installation: ensure it is clean, with adequate space for ventilation and drainage.
- Decide where your duct and drain will be: cut the required hole in the unit for the return air duct and position the furnace suitably for the condensate drain exit.
- Connect to the ducting system: be sure to seal any connection with metal foil tape or a proper duct sealant.
- Connect vent pipes: these should be at a slight angle sloping towards the unit for condensation to drain.
- Connect the gas supply: ensure adequate shutoff/ventilation and check for leaks.
- Connect the electrical supply: you should find two connections on your furnace—a low voltage and a line voltage.
- Connect the condensate drain: usually via a hose to a drain hole in the floor of your basement.
That’s it. Once the installation has been checked by running your furnace through a heating cycle for an hour and checked for any gas leaks, you’re done.
Please note that a furnace installation is a job for a professional and licensed technician. Do not try to install your furnace unless you are qualified to do so.
Furnace Replacement Services
When to Replace Your Home Furnace
If your furnace is more than 10 years old, it may not be running as efficiently as possible. In fact, an aging furnace could be wasting up to 40 cents of every dollar you spend to heat your home.
Here are a few more signs you’re due for a furnace replacement:
- Numerous service calls
- Rapidly increasing energy bills—even though thermostat settings remain the same
- Hot and cold areas around your house
- The furnace repeatedly cycles on and off and distributes cold air
- Increased noise—especially rattling, popping, humming, screeching or squealing
- Burner flames are yellow, not blue—indicating incomplete combustion, leaking gas and/or carbon monoxide
At Alpha Plumbing, our furnace experts strive to install only the most energy-efficient furnaces. Some of these models feature a quiet, variable-speed design that can heat your home at several speeds. This increases comfort while potentially using less energy and optimizing indoor air quality.
It is always worth remembering that by having routine tune-ups, you can make your furnace last longer and avoid costly emergency service calls.
A new furnace replacement that is rated for efficiency may be more affordable than you realize, especially when considering our financing plans and the long-term potential heating savings.
The experienced furnace technicians from Alpha Plumbing can help you select and install the right furnace, providing several flat-rate options in writing so that you can make an informed decision.
Financing is available if required and all work is covered by our one-year guarantee for parts and labour.
Furnace Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my furnace is on?
Be sure your thermostat is set to “heat” and set the temperature to 3 degrees above room temperature.
What maintenance does my furnace require?
Most manufacturers recommend yearly maintenance of furnaces to ensure proper function. The Alpha Plumbing furnace maintenance checklist includes:
- Overall system check
- OEM maintenance kits supplied and installed, dependent on the manufacturer
- Flame rods removed, cleaned, reinstalled
- Main burner box cleaning, inspection, and dust removal
- Main blower box cleaning, inspection, and dust removal
- Filter Replacement
- Performance check on blower motors
- Performance check on inducer motors
- Gas system and safety inspection
- Heat exchanger inspection
- Venting and condensate removal inspection
When is the best time of year to service my furnace?
Right before heating season is the best time of year to perform yearly maintenance.
This will allow technicians a chance to check for any deficiencies prior to them becoming issues when you need heating the most, without warming up your home unnecessarily during the summer months.
How long will my furnace last?
Life expectancy will depend on where you live, what type of furnace you have, and how well it is maintained. Typically, good furnaces in Calgary will last 10 to 15 years.
How often do I need to change my furnace filter?
That depends on your home. If you have pets, you should change them regularly every month. Otherwise, you can change it every 3 to 6 months.
How much does furnace maintenance cost?
Prices are dependent on the state of your furnace and the model and range from $240 to $340.
What's included in a furnace service?
Regular tune-up services are necessary to keep your furnace working in prime condition throughout the year.
For homeowners, this should mean nothing more than remembering to call your HVAC professionals. You don’t need to get your hands dirty—it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Regular maintenance includes systematically inspecting, cleaning, testing, adjusting, and/or lubricating all of the essential components of your furnace:
- Inspecting the heat exchanger for corrosion or other signs of damage
- Removal of any blockages in the vent system and air grilles
- Removing debris from the blower Testing the blower motor and its amp draw
- Tightening electrical connections and/or replacing damaged wiring if needed
- Checking the burner and flame sensor
- Inspecting belts for cracks or other damage
- Calibrating the thermostat, if required
- Lubricating all the moving parts in the heating system
- Cleaning the air filter or replacing it if required
- Testing safety controls and the startup cycle
- Examining fuel lines for leaks (oil and gas furnaces)
- Testing gas pressure, burner, and pilot (oil and gas furnaces)
- Inspecting the thermocouple (oil and gas furnaces)
In Alberta, how often should we tune up a furnace?
At the very minimum with our Alberta climate, a professional should tune up your furnace once a year. This should be a thorough maintenance check to keep it working efficiently throughout the year.
If there are people in the household who are sensitive to air quality or have respiratory issues, it’s wise to increase this to several checks per year for extra peace of mind.
Because you will be using the system every day in our severe winters here in Calgary, AB, we recommend at least a check in the fall before the colder winter months kick in.
Why perform annual furnace maintenance?
Performing annual furnace maintenance has some obvious benefits—but also some others that you may not have considered.
Of course, the main benefit is that you’re not left without heating in the depths of winter when you need it most.
By having Alpha Plumbing check your furnace and address all of the most common issues, you reduce the risk of an unexpected breakdown. We know the warning signs and can prevent minor issues from turning into major ones requiring expensive repairs.
Other benefits of annual furnace maintenance include:
- Potentially saving money: the efficiency of your furnace relates directly to your energy bills. If you regularly maintain your furnace, it will raise efficiency and minimize monthly bills—a great way to cover the costs of the maintenance.
- Maintaining the warranty: failure to maintain your furnace can invalidate the warranty. By arranging at least annual maintenance, you ensure that your warranty remains good if something serious goes wrong.
- Maximizing the life of the furnace: a furnace is a major investment that should last well over a decade. By maintaining it well, you extend its life.
Should a gas furnace be serviced once a year?
Gas furnaces can be prone to problems so if yours has not been maintained in a while, you are asking for problems.
It’s best to schedule a service for your furnace at least in the fall to check that it is running safely, efficiently, and without any major issues as the long winter months approach. It should be checked, tested, thoroughly cleaned, and all steps described above performed.
If you want to be sure to optimize performance all year round, schedule another service call in the spring.
What happens when a gas furnace isn't serviced often enough?
It is estimated by some HVAC professionals that three-quarters of “no-heat” callouts can be prevented with regular maintenance. We can verify that estimate.
A variety of preventable problems can start to appear if your gas furnace is not serviced at least once a year. Most typically, these include:
- An overworked furnace—this can be caused by dusty, clogged-up filters that would be replaced with any standard service. An overworked furnace can lead to inefficiency and breakdowns.
- A faulty pilot light—this can be prevented by regular cleaning (the pilot opening can get clogged). Other pilot light problems occur when the pilot light button isn’t fully pressed or the gas valve isn’t all the way open—which can both be avoided by a gas furnace service.
- A leaking furnace—this is a dangerous problem that needs immediate attention and is often due to a cracked heat exchanger or a dirty, clogged filter. If your furnace is leaking dangerous toxins like carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide into your home, this will be picked up by routine maintenance so that a larger problem can be averted.
Tips for Maintaining Your Furnace
In between service calls, there are a few regular checks and maintenance steps you can take to ensure that your furnace runs as efficiently as possible and avoids downtime.
- Clean filters—or replace them
Filters can get clogged with many different types of household particles, such as dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, spores, etc. Regular cleaning or replacing ensures adequate and safe airflow in the home.
- Check the blower motor
Furnace blowers provide air for the furnace and often for the air conditioning system too. The blower motor drives the fan and has many moving parts. Check that it’s working efficiently without too much noise and, if not, call us for a service.
- Check household vents
For your furnace to work efficiently, the air in your home must be able to circulate freely. Check that vents are open, clear of blockages, and allow air to flow unimpeded.
- Check the exhaust flue (gas furnaces)
Toxic gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide need to be allowed to escape freely from a gas furnace or your family could be breathing them in. Make sure the exhaust flue is not blocked—if it is, call one of our furnace professionals.
- Improve insulation in your home
You can ease the load on your furnace and potentially extend its life by improving insulation in your home. We can make recommendations after surveying your existing setup, often including weather-stripping windows and doors, insulating your attic, or sealing and insulating ductwork.
Think of maintaining your furnace as a small price to pay for keeping you warm all year. It’s best to do regular checks of the furnace yourself throughout the year and book a maintenance call-out at least once a year—preferably twice.
WHY CHOOSE Alpha Plumbing
PROFESSIONAL, COURTEOUS TECHNICIANS
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.
CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH
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.
35+ YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE AT YOUR DISPOSAL
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.
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.
LICENSED, CERTIFIED, AND INSURED TECHS
You can rest easy knowing that the job is getting done with licensed, certified, and insured expert precision.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL TRUSTED PLUMBERS AT ALPHA
Our technicians can service any commercial or residential plumbing need quickly and efficiently.