Calgary Heating:A Comprehensive Guide to Troubleshooting Gas Furnaces

 Calgary Heating:A Comprehensive Guide to Troubleshooting Gas Furnaces

With winter at your doorstep, are you looking for some great tips to ensure that your gas furnace holds you in good stead? Well, this comprehensive guide would look to help you, put your best foot forward by offering help with basic furnace questions. These include simple ones like how to go about changing the filter on the furnace, how to check the airflow and what would be the right thing to do when the gas furnace doesn’t light up. We hope that these tips will help you stay warm and cosy this winter.

How to turn on your gas furnace?

No, you are definitely not the only person who wants an answer to this question. A lot of others are wondering about the same thing. But here is a step by step procedure of accomplishing the task.

You have to spot the gas furnace braker which would be on your electric panel board. The panels are usually located inside the garage or the basement. The braker is easy to spot with a furnace sticker. All you have to do is to turn it on.

Once you turn on the braker, you will have to turn the furnace on, and the switch would be located somewhere near the furnace itself, usually in the eye level or a bit higher.

Set the switch for selector to Heat and make sure the furnace is on. You have to set the thermostat for the temperature you need and that would ensure your house has a heating unit on, and working.

Testing the airflow of the furnace

How often have you not found one of the rooms not warming up to your satisfaction? The garbage bag airflow test for furnaces should be able to indicate to you if your furnace registers are all functioning properly and there is a healthy supply of warm air being pumped out. There are 2 essential steps for this test.

Tape the garbage bag to something that will keep it open, like a cardboard, for example and crush it flat.

Place it near the exhaust hood or register and then check the time taken for the garbage bag to get inflated fully.

When the inflation time is 10 seconds, it means that the airflow is 10L/s nearly. This is an indicator of the fact that the furnace is not pumping as much heat into the room as you would have liked in the ideal scenario. In fact, this simple method could be used as a litmus test after major renovations or repairs involving the heating units in a house.

What if your furnace refuses to ignite?

Don’t panic, if it doesn’t ignite one fine winter morning. If your fan is running but sending you only cold air with the furnace on, try the simple trick of turning off the furnace for some time and then turning it on. If it works, well and good; otherwise you should call furnace investigation specialists.

Changing the furnace filter

Here are some simple tips when it comes to the furnace filter and its condition.

Airflow from the furnace could be maintained at optimum when you ensure that the filter is properly maintained and in the right working condition.

As a precaution, the furnace filter has to be changed once every 3 to 6 months.

For the gas furnace to work efficiently you will have to check the furnace filter every month and inspect it for problems.

The first thing would be to open the external rack, also called panel door. Slide out the furnace filter and check for darkness or discolouration on the filter.

The trick is to change the filter whenever you are unable to look through it.

The new filter has to be installed in the airflow direction, sliding it in.


Checklist for troubleshooting furnace problems

When your furnace seems to be out of order, there are some immediate questions that you need to be asking before you make a frantic call to the furnace technicians. This might help you fix the problem yourself saving some money too. Here is a list of things to check before resorting to the final step of calling for help.

Check if the furnace venting has been blocked due to snow. If yes, clear the blockage and try turning it on.

The thermostat has to be set to Heat position. The temperature should be set to normal room temperature.

The batteries of the programmable thermostat should be fresh.

The circuit braker inside the electric panel has to be in the right position.

The door of the furnace has to be closed and the furnace should be turned on. It could have been turned off by accident.

The furnace filter has to be inspected regularly and changed every now and then.


Removing Blockages from Vents in the Right Way

As soon as you suspect a problem with the furnace’s exterior vent, the first thing to do would be to check for any blockages in the vent, such as ice, snow or even household articles.

If yes, turn off the furnace, remove the obstruction and then turn it back on through the breaker or switch.

The fan motor of the furnace could have seized to work, if there isn’t any airflow through the interior vent of the furnace. This is one problem, the furnace technicians are better equipped to handle.

How to React to a Gas Leak?

If you have sniffed the smell of a rotten egg, there could be the chance of a gas leak. In such a scenario avoid turning on any switches and open all doors and windows in the house. Don’t smell the gas yourself. Head out of the house and call the local gas provider and plumbing and heating technicians.

Preventing Heat Loss Due to Air Leaks

Air leakage has traditionally been one of the biggest factors for loss of heat during winter. In other words, air leaks are responsible for cranking up the heating bills of many houses. As warm air escapes from your house, the gas furnace tries to replace it by pumping more warm air resulting in greater heating costs. You can save a lot on heating bills if you can fix the warm air, leaks, thereby preventing heat loss.

Preventing heat loss involves concentrating mainly on different areas in the house construction. In each case, there are some prevention steps which you need to look at more closely.

Preventing leaks from electrical outlets on the exterior walls:

  • Remove the outlet cover after turning off the power.
  • Install a foaming pad that offers insulation and then replace the outlet cover.

Preventing leaks in attic and basement:

  • Seal all cracks and close the attic door tightly after adding a weather strip.
  • Reduce the gaps required for ducts to enter the wall or ceiling, and insulate the ducts by wrapping them in duct tapes.
  • Use an acoustic sealant or rubber caulking near the sill plate of the basement to prevent any leaks.

Preventing leaks around doors and windows:

This could be the most difficult thing to do as doors and windows close and open often for various reasons. However, there are certain steps to reduce the leaks as much as possible.

  • Remove the trims and replace them with waterproof sealants or fillers on the edges.
  • Fill the larger cracks with a foam backer or even polyurethane foam.

Preventing Baseboard leaks:

Baseboard leaks can be prevented using some caulking along the seams and also between the wall and the floor.


Clearview Plumbing and Heating is a Calgary Plumbing and Heating company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada which is available round the clock to carry out any type of Calgary Plumbing or Heating job.

You can reach us any time at 403-220-0090.

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Keywords: Calgary heating, Trouble shooting furnaces, Gas furnaces, How to trouble shoot it, airflow, Filters, Furnace

By | 2018-04-30T16:15:34+00:00 October 14th, 2011|Plumbing Services|

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