Chimney sweeps and homeowners have long known that a fireplace is only as good as the chimney that vents it. When things get clogged up (or when the raccoons move in) ventilation suffers and so does heat production. It’s the same with today’s furnaces: they’re only as good as the ventilation system they’re attached to. Chimneys and modern furnaces also share another trait. Should ventilation prove inadequate, backed-up gases can infiltrate the living area and spell disaster for unsuspecting inhabitants.
A recent posting on Achrnews dives into changing technologies when it comes to venting and how important it is that a Toronto HVAC contractor is up to date on new regulations in order to both serve customers well and fend off furnace repair emergencies or worse. Among those regulations is the need to:
…keep vent runs as straight as possible, limiting the number of turns or bends. And, never use a vent size smaller than the size recommended by the heating equipment manufacturer.
Vertical vent systems must terminate vertically, must not have a horizontal run that is more than 75 percent of the vertical rise… and it must terminate a reasonable distance above the roof to prevent snow buildup from blocking the vent.
Horizontal vent systems must terminate horizontally, must be pitched no less than ¼ inch per foot (either up or down), must not terminate near air inlet openings to the structure…
That all may seem like perfectly common sense stuff but the fact is these regulations have been evolving for decades as homes and office buildings have changed, heating requirements have changed and the furnaces themselves have changed. Remember it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the law of conservation of energy was discovered and not until the mid-20th century that what we would now consider ‘modern’ home heating systems became commonplace.
And the changes don’t show any signs of slowing down.
Proposed new regulations will increase gas furnace energy efficiency standards and this will have the cascading effect of requiring vent changes during many furnace replacements. An HVAC contractor needs to be well-versed in the new rules once they come online and before replacing furnaces thereafter.
Your HVAC Contractor Is More Important Than You Think
As technology and regulations have changed the role and responsibilities of the HVAC contractor have been greatly expanded and refined. Due to the increasingly sophisticated nature of equipment as well as the stakes involved should things go awry a profession that did not exist a century ago is now closely regulated. HVAC technicians must be properly certified by government agencies to do furnace maintenance or repair work and in many places, they must be licensed as well. Most also serve lengthy apprenticeships. Beyond that, an HVAC contractor must:
- Be mechanically inclined
- Be able to decipher complex schematics
- Always put the well-being of the customer first
- Exhibit proven ability with HVAC-specific equipment
- Have a keen analytical mind to troubleshoot problems
The importance then, of having properly trained and certified HVAC technicians working on your home’s heating system becomes more and more evident. Errors in setting up proper ventilation, misunderstanding of regulatory changes, and just poor training can result in a good situation becoming bad and a bad situation becoming deadly without anyone knowing until it’s too late.
Don’t Take Risks: Contact Us Today
The HVAC professionals at Toronto Heating and Air Conditioning are all fully certified and insured. Each must undergo our own rigorous training before they’re allowed to work on your home’s ventilation system. In addition, every one of our technicians is required to receive continual education in the ever-changing regulatory landscape in order to ensure the service they provide you meets not only our own high standards but those mandated by the government as well.
The HVAC contractor has come a long way since the days of the chimney sweep. Don’t put your well-being, the well-being of your family, and the well-being of your home at risk by hiring uncertified workmen to install, repair, or otherwise service air conditioning units or furnace ventilation systems. What’s at stake is far more than your ability to be cozy while watching your favorite TV show or entertaining friends.