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Fall Plumbing and Heating Newsletter | JJ McLellan and Son Mount Forest

JJ McLellan and Son – Fall

The Home Comfort People

Its time for your fall heating check up!

The cool fall evenings are here!
If you haven’t turned on your furnace yet, it will be very soon.
A couple things you can do before you turn your heat on
1. Clean or replace your filter, and
2. Vacuum all registers and cold air returns. This includes taking them off or pulling them up and vacuuming down into the duct as well – you may be surprised how much dust and dirt can get trapped down there!
Why is a fall heating check up important?
Having your equipment cleaned and serviced is preventative maintenance and can catch a problem before it even begins. This is especially important for the overall operation of the appliance, to ensure it is working as it is designed to. The benefits to having your system serviced is when it is clean the appliance works much more efficient – thus saving you money on your utilities!

Some helpful tips for this fall !

  • Headings away on holidays? Save energy by adjusting your thermostat 2-3 degrees.
  • On sunny days keep your curtains or blinds open to take advantage of the “free” heat.
  • Replace or clean your furnace filter.
  • Ensure your outside exhaust vents are free from debris such as bushes, trees, leaves.
  • Find your comfort zone within your home, set your thermostat and always keep it within 1-2 degrees of this temperature (unless going away on holidays) this helps your home maintain a constant comfort level and does not cause the system to over work from each day.
  • Have your unit serviced yearly by a professional.
  • Check doors and windows for any air leaks and caulk if necessary.
  • Clean your dryer vents – including the lint trap and vaccuum very well.
  • Cover your Air Conditioner for the winter.

Please remember that unless you are trained and licensed to work with fuels it is very important that under no circumstances should you tamper with your heating system or any other fuel appliance. If you need to locate a Qualified Heating Contractor in your area please check www.tssa.org.

















Fall Plumbing Tips From The Pro’s

  • Check all outdoor faucets for any leaks and have them repaired before the temperature drops. 

  • Shut off the water supply to your outside taps from inside and then open the taps outside to ensure the water has properly drained.

  • Check around the base of each toilet for moisture – over time the seal can breakdown and may need replacing

  • Check your tub and shower for any caulking that may need to be replaced to prevent water leaking down behind your walls

  • Have any toilets that are running checked – one toilet can waste gallons of water!

  • Check water connections and drains under your kitchen and bathroom sinks – if your pipes froze last year install insulation against the outside wall to help keep the heat in.

  • Check your washing machine water connections – many are hidden behind the machine and out of sight

  • If you have a septic – when was the last time it was pumped? If it has been a while the ideal time to pump is in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Schedule your service before the snow flies!

  • Ensure your eavestrough drains away from your home.

  • Have you been experiencing any slow drains? Gurgling toilets? Saturated lawn (by your septic)? Best to have the pro’s check it out before winter arrives!

Plumbing Preventative Maintenance is not as common as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), however just as important.

When is it important to have your home or business plumbing system checked?

  • What is the age of the home or building?
    Many older homes have old piping, over the years the pipes build up and your water pressure will slowly decrease. You may notice small particles in the water which could be from the pipes.

  • Are You Buying A New Home or Building… Did you just move in?
    Having a professional walk through to check the plumbing system before moving in or closing on a purchase could save you $!

  • What is the age of the equipment? Ex. Water Heater, Pump, Pressure Tank, Water Softener, Expansion Tank








Are you in the market for a new water heater?

We now offer a very affordable option to purchase a water heater and be covered with a 10 year parts and labour warranty for the same or less than it would cost you to rent!

Natural Gas Water Heaters – Buying and Renting Tips from Union Gas


A woman needs to know her home’s HVAC System

I am writing this post entirely from a woman’s perspective.

And all about heating. Can you feeeel the excitement!

Being the daughter and wife of a technician, I have learned a lot over the years and even more so when I had my own children. I can remember in our first house coming home after work and it was freezing! FREEZING. Of course my hubby wasn’t home from work yet and I called on my dad, who merely said to me just turn the thermostat off and back on. Well wasn’t I surprised when that worked! I had heat!

It wasn’t until we had children that I really began to care about the indoor quality of our home. Not long after our son was born, we found out our family was expanding again and we began looking for a bigger home, within my criteria was natural gas – this is something that in our first home I, (and our budget) became very comfortable with. I love cooking with natural gas both inside and on the bbq. During the home inspection of our 2nd home, they made sure they tested the furnace – which thankfully they did as the heat exchanger failed (a great reason why during a home inspection you should also always have a furnace inspection or insist on the seller having one). What this meant was we were able to adjust our price on the home to cover the installation of a new energy efficient furnace – which in all honesty I did prefer.

One home we did look at which had a nice lot and large garage for the husband, had electric baseboard heat. Although we could change this out, many homeowners do not realize the large cost of doing this retrofit – of course it can be done and your home will be much better in the long run with an energy efficient hvac system for heating, cooling and ventilation, your home will also have improved air flow and circulation, which is a downfall of electric baseboards.

I grew very accustomed to the personal benefits of gas (natural gas in our case, propane also has the same benefits) of having an unlimited supply to our bbq, gas dryer, gas water heater, gas stove and a new energy efficient gas furnace. All very affordable as well.

As a young mother having this option of gas in our home was a true convenience for me, if we used our basement we had a gas fireplace which would provide instant heat when needed, with cooking on the bbq I did not have to worry about running out of fuel, especially when planning dinner for our family with a husband working late – this was huge!

Dad even said it perfectly to us one day, if there is a problem within the home whether its plumbing or heating if you ask the woman of the home she will always be able to describe it perfectly –  in most cases women are home more than men.

Why do women need to be educated in what an HVAC system is – simple –  this is the system that literally runs your household. When you need heat or cooling and push a button or slide the temperature, you want heat or cold air. You want and need to know that your family is comfortable and healthy.

Especially important during the buying process, when you begin to do your research. You want to ensure you have a quality product by a reputable manufacturer, bought from a knowledgeable supplier and installed by a qualified contractor who will be around if you do have issues.

Do you want to save money? – of course everyone does especially with the rising costs of hydro. Do you have children? – you will want the system to be quiet and healthy – yet still efficient.  Water conservation? That is a must now a days, be sure you take the time to do the research! When you are planning out your new home or your renovation – be a part of this discussion.

I wont ever claim I know more than my father or husband when it comes to HVAC (that would be silly 😉 ), however I know what little things matter to me, as a mother.

When we began our search for our 3rd home with property, my number one on my list was natural gas – although there were other homes we looked at and one we even had an offer in on that didn’t have gas – but could have gas installed. The next criteria was the HVAC System in the home, this would have to be inspected to ensure the efficiency. One of my other points was an HRV – which if it was already installed would be a bonus, if not it was a must install after we moved in.

One of the biggest compromises for me in this home that we did purchase was it did not have a gas stove in the kitchen, nor could we install one without a major renovation. After much deliberation we purchased a new energy efficient electric convection wall oven. This was a major compromise for me, however we have a gas cook top and purchased a large broil king gas BBQ which we use much more than our stove. We did however have to have a gas line run for the BBQ. One of the benefits that I love in this home is the home having an HRV system and the gas fireplace downstairs.

My only dilemma remaining is when our Water Furnace Geo Thermal System decides its had enough… For many homes geo-thermal is a great option – if you do not have gas service available at your home. As much as our Geo-thermal rep cringed when I told him I wasn’t sure what we would replace it with – we’ll have to consider all information on energy savings and product cost…

What have I learned about the HVAC System…

  • Bigger is not better at all! If the furnace is too big (not sized correctly to your home) it will not work properly and be very loud.
  • Energy Efficient equipment makes a huge difference in energy bills
  • Newer energy efficient equipment is so much quieter
  • Turning the thermostat off and on again can reset your heating system
  • Duct work design is very important in a home
  • I love the convenience of gas in my home
  • Keeping the temperature at a consistent level in your home is more efficient
  • It is very important to keep hot and cold air grills clean – especially with pets!
  • It is very important to not block your hot and cold air grills
  • I love the instant heat of a gas fireplace (ok not hvac but still heating)
  • It is important to get your ducts cleaned out every few years
  • Planning – very important to know how many gas appliances you plan to have installed now or in the future – the size of the gas line is important for this!
  • In-floor heating – this along with a gas fireplace is an excellent option for a basement!

Up next month… plumbing! Your home’s plumbing is just as important as your own body’s plumbing! 😉

Switch To Gas – 1 Month Left! || Mount Forest

With Union Gas’s new promotion its now better than ever for people wanting to switch to gas TO switch to gas. Whether you want to upgrade your Furnace AND Hot Water Heater OR just your Hot Water Heater – now is the time! Never before have you been able to just switch over for 1 appliance and now you can and begin realizing the savings that come with Natural Gas!

Give our office a call at 1-866-565-5513 or 519-323-2000 and ask to talk to Mike Johnson our Salesman OR email him (click link)

Heating Season is here – begin saving even more of YOUR MONEY now!

Water Heater Scams || Mount Forest Plumber

This article was just published in the Toronto Star – Roseman: Man, 87, scammed by hot water tank salesman .

For our own customers information and protection I am copying and pasting the exact article from The Toronto Star below, at the bottom of the article is an email address for Ellen, the writer:

Roseman: Man, 87, scammed by hot water tank salesman
By Ellen Roseman 1 hour 10 minutes ago

There’s a new law in Ontario to protect consumers from misleading sales of natural gas or electricity contracts.

The Ontario Energy Board audited 12 companies last month. It found all had failed to comply with the rules in some ways, such as not training agents properly or not mentioning a customer’s cancellation rights in a contract.

Nine companies have agreed to pay fines totalling $212,500, the board said this week. Two companies (Summitt Energy and Energhx Green Energy) have asked for a hearing. One case (MxEnergy) is still outstanding.

Now here’s the bad news. Many companies use the same abusive practices to persuade people to replace their water heaters.

Here’s a story that makes my blood boil, involving a vulnerable senior and a water heater replacement that leaked all over his basement.

A salesman went to the Toronto home of Jose Martins, 87, and said his seven-year-old water heater would be replaced under a government program to get rid of inefficient tanks. The switch took place within minutes.

MorEnergy was a competitor of the company from which he rented his water heater. But Martins, who didn’t speak English well, didn’t know that.

“He said his water heater wasn’t giving him any problems,” says daughter Laura Martins, “but by the end of the persistent and deceptive sales pitch, my dad had given him his gas bill and signed the rental agreement.”

The new tank started leaking a few days after installation. By the time Laura reached MorEnergy (since the office was closed), the carpet was ruined.

“I wanted to cancel the agreement and have the tank removed. The company told me it would cost $300.”

Yes, that’s right. MorEnergy installed the water heater during the 10-day cooling off period provided for sales over $50 made in a customer’s home — and insisted on a $300 fee to cancel during the cooling off period.

The Ontario consumer services ministry has received 1,700 complaints and inquiries about water heaters this year.

The 10-day cooling off period for door to door sales is absolute, says spokesman Stephen Puddister.

A supplier that pushes you to install a tank in a hurry can be seen as trying to deny your right to “cool off” under the consumer protection act.

And if a supplier wants to charge a penalty to remove its rented equipment when change your mind within 10 days, you don’t have to pay it.

MorEnergy president John Nassar doesn’t see things that way.

“I understand the tank was a leaker. Since we don’t manufacture the tanks, we have no control over this,” he said.

As for the $300 removal fee, “the act is clear that if customers invite us in to do the work, then they have to cover the soft costs,” he argued.

Come on, John. Many people don’t “invite” MorEnergy into their homes.

They get a sales pitch from someone who declares their tank is no good — and agree to a replacement under the impression they’re dealing with their existing supplier.

MorEnergy has agreed to pay a $40,000 fine after admitting its agents wore badges that made people think they represented a gas or electricity utility.

Sadly, the misrepresentation leading to rush replacements of water heaters falls outside the Ontario Energy Board’s jurisdiction.

I’d like to see the provincial government crack down on door-to-door sales of all products, including burglar alarms and water purifiers, because of proven abuses.

There’s an election campaign going on now. Is anyone listening?

Also read:

Just say no to water heater offers (click on the title to read)

Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at eroseman@thestar.ca.

We are the service agents for Reliance within Mount Forest and the Surrounding Area, please do not hestitate to contact us to confirm the individual showing up at your door is NOT with us or Reliance. If you are unsure please call and do not let these individuals into your home! As in the past, any calls of these types of sales going on are immediately reported by us to the Chamber of Commerce who passes them directly on to the Township and OPP.

Also our own sales people will NOT do door to door sales. Our sales people will make appointments with you directly and show up at the specified time. Our company has NO affiliation with door to door sales!

Water Heater Program || Mount Forest Plumbing & Heating

Contact us to ask about our Water Heater Program .

There is some great information on the Union Gas Website (also seen below)

Natural Gas Water Heaters – Where to Rent or Buy

Natural Gas Water HeatersTo obtain a natural gas water heater, there are two options available which include renting or buying.

If you know where you would like to rent or buy, please click on one of the retailers below. If you would like assistance in finding a reputable contractor in your area to help you make the decision, please click on the HRAI logo below.

Where to Rent Choose a Contractor


Give us a Call or Email

We are members of the HRAI you can do a search for a local contractor by clicking on the logo image above and searching their Contractor Locator click For My Home, Appliance Info and be sure you enter your postal code, it searches based on your postal code for your area matching you with the closest Plumbing & Heating Contractor.

Give us a call or email to ask us about our Water Heater Program!

Plumbing – Hot Water Heater || Mount Forest Plumber

Have you noticed your showers aren’t lasting as long or by the end of the night and the kids are all bathed and in bed… you go to enjoy a nice warm and relaxing shower to find that there is no hot water!

Do you know how old your hot water heater is ? Or when the last time it was serviced?
A properly maintained and serviced Hot Water Heater will provide you with much more available hot water than a poorly maintained and not-serviced Hot Water Heater.
One way you as a home owner can save money is by properly maintaining your hot water heater… and another is renting your hot water heater. By renting your hot water heater you simply pay a low monthly rental fee which covers any repairs which may have to be done to the hot water heater – reducing your out of pocket expenses!
Another way to save is with a Natural Gas Tankless Hot Water Heater!
Give us a call or drop us an email and we can discuss your Hot Water Needs and provide a FREE Estimate!
Some great information provided by Union Gas at http://www.uniongas.com/residential/naturalgasproducts/waterheater/

Natural Gas Water Heaters – Product Overview

Natural Gas Water HeatersNatural gas water heaters offer two distinct choices in style (storage tank and tankless) and three choices for venting (conventional, direct vent, power vent). Additionally, you may be able to combine your water heating with home heating.

Storage Tank Water Heaters
A storage tank water heater is the most common type of water heater in Canada. It consists of a gas burner and a steel cylinder storage tank with capacities ranging from 30 to 100 gallons (113 to 378 Litres).

How storage tank water heaters work:

Cold water is drawn into the bottom of the tank where it is quickly heated by a gas burner. Hot water rises to the top of the tank. As the hot water is used, it is replaced at the bottom with cold water.

The tank thermostat controls the water temperature in the tank both when it is leaving the tank to your taps and when it is on “stand by”, waiting in the tank to be used. The more efficient a water heater is the less heat is lost when the unit is on “stand by”.

Tankless Water Heater (also called On-Demand or Instantaneous Water Heaters)
A tankless water heater has no tank and stores no hot water. When hot water is needed, the water is heated on demand. When the hot water tap is turned on it triggers a flow switch that activates the burner which heats the cold water entering the tankless water heater. The water is rapidly heated to the desired temperature. This continues for as long as the hot water tap remains in the ‘on’ position. When the tap is turned ‘off’ the system shuts down resulting in substantial energy savings over units that have hot water stored in the tank on ‘stand-by’.

A tankless water heater can save space and offer flexibility being able to be installed close to the point of use.

Combination Water and Space Heating Systems
While many people have one appliance for space heating and another for water heating, you can have one natural gas appliance that heats both your water and provides heat to your home. This is called a combination system. These systems have one heat source that is shared between conventional pieces of equipment such as a tank water heater and an air handler to accomplish dual heating purposes.

Water Heating Venting 101

A natural gas water heater requires air for combustion and igniting. The air required can either come from outside or from the home itself. There are three types of venting for natural gas water heaters, each offering benefits depending on your installation limitations and requirements:

Direct Vent
A direct vent does not require a chimney, but vents through an outside wall and also brings air for combustion in from the outside. Some types of direct vent water heaters must be located close to an outside wall, while others may be located further away. Replacing

This style of venting is most often convenient when:

  • Replacing an electric water heater and a chimney is not available

  • You do not have an electrical source close to the water heater to power the vent

FACT – Neither a direct vented nor a conventional vent water heater requires electricity. If there is a power outage you will still have hot water.

Power Vent

A power vent water heater does not need a chimney, but uses an electrically powered fan to move combustion products outside.

This style of venting is used when:

  • Replacing an electric water heater and you do not have ready access to a chimney

  • You have access to a dedicated electrical receptacle within six feet of the unit

Conventional Vent
A conventional vent is required on most standard natural gas water heaters. Conventional vents can be either type B, double-wall metal vents or a tile-lined brick chimney. The conventional vent can be shared with most standard mid-efficiency furnaces or boilers. This type of vent draws the air it needs from inside your home. In airtight homes it is important that there is an adequate air supply from outside.