Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I save water by fixing a leaky toilet?

Leaks inside your toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day and can be difficult to detect with the naked eye. To find a leak, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait a few minutes, don't flush. If color appears in the bowl then you have a leak and repairs should be made. Normally, leaks are caused by a bad flapper valve, flapper valve seat, ballcock valve, improperly positioned float arm or a defective overflow tube

How do I know what type of water heater I have?

Power vented water heaters are vented through your furnace. You will see white PVC piping into your furnace and a black fan. A chimney vented water heater is also vented through the furnace, but it is vented with aluminum venting. Both of these are gas.  Or you may also have a electric water heater which is connected through a power source.

How often should I have my furnace or air conditioner serviced?

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to keep your home heating system operating at peak efficiency and ensuring energy savings! Your air conditioner should also be serviced regularly.

How often should I change my furnace filter?

Furnace filters should be checked monthly and replaced (or cleaned if not disposable) every I to 3 months. The filter needs to be checked during both the heating and cooling seasons.

What do I do if my natural gas furnace is not working?

Following are some areas you can check before calling us for service:

  1. Check that the thermostat is set to call for heating and is set higher than room temperature.
  2. If your thermostat is battery operated, check the batteries.
  3. Check if there is a summer/winter switch or disconnect that may be causing the furnace not to run. (Often the switch is at the top of the basement stairs.)
  4. Check the electrical circuit breaker for the furnace. Gas furnaces require electricity to work the fan, so in the event of a power failure, the furnace will not work.
  5. Check that the filter is not plugged. Most furnaces will not work with a plugged filter.
  6. If your furnace is a direct vent model, check that the combustion and exhaust air inlet or outlet is not plugged or frosted over, especially in humid winter conditions.

If these ideas don't work, call Reinhardt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd at 543-7400. We have service personnel on 24 hour call. Note: If you smell gas, shut off the gas valve to the appliance and call Reinhardt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning or Sask Energy immediately.

Do high-efficiency furnaces require more maintenance?

All furnaces require regular maintenance. Most furnaces operate below peak efficiency because of poor maintenance. A well-tuned and efficiently operating heating system can significantly reduce your annual fuel bill(s).

What is the difference between a mid and high efficient furnace?

  • The effficiency of a furnace can be determined by its AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The current minimun AFUE level for furnaces in Canada is 90% (Source: NRCan).
  • A rating of 90% AFUE means that every dollar you spend on fuel to heat your home will result in 90 cents actually being applied to the generation of warmth. 
  • Compared to many of the 60% AFUE furnaces in older homes, the 90% AFUE furnaces are a significant improvement. 
  • High-efficient furnaces are 90% to 97% efficient, versus mid-efficients at approx. 80%. The more efficient system saves you money every time you heat your home.
  • A furnace with two stage heating operates on low stage heating most of the time, only changing to high when the outside temperature plummets. Low stage operates approx. 70-80% of the time under normal conditions. Two stage provides more heat distribution without temperature fluctuations in the home. They are also quieter than single-stage units.
  • A variable speed direct current (DC Brushless) motor allows the furnace to operate on a lower fan speed 90% of the time. This results in quieter operation and a reduction in electrical costs (between approx. $200-300 annually.

What do I do if my Air Conditioner is not working?

For best performance your cooling system must be serviced regularly. We recommend having your air conditioner and furnace system checked annually. This inspection should include checking that the thermostat is working properly, the fan belts properly tensioned, the amperage draw on the furnace motor checked and the refrigerant charge in your air-conditioning system is correct.

The following are some areas that you can check and maintain:

Condensing Unit (Outside)

  1. The condensing unit should ideally have 36 inches clear space on all sides to allow good air flow through the unit and allow for service. Cut any branches and undergrowth around the condensing unit.
  2. You can carefully clean any dirt or debris from the unit fins yourself. Be careful not to bend the fins when you clean. A garden hose may be used but do not use a pressure washer. Make sure to turn off the breaker to disconnect all electrical power before cleaning with water.

Evaporator Coil & Furnace

  1. Furnace filters should be checked monthly and replaced (or cleaned if not disposable) every I to 3 months.
  2. Check that the thermostat is set to call for Cooling and is set lower than room temperature.
  3. If your thermostat is battery operated, check the batteries.
  4. Check if there is a summer/winter switch or disconnect that may be causing the furnace not to run. (Often the switch is at the top of the basement stairs.)
  5. Check the electrical circuit breaker for the furnace. Gas furnaces require electricity to work the fan, so in the event of a power failure, the furnace fan and air conditioning will not work.
  6. Make sure your filter fits correctly into the filter rack and that the filter is installed correctly.
  7. Check the drain connection to the coil and make sure condensate is not plugged and draining properly.