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Heating systems

A heating system which is installed as per the various codes in force and serviced by a qualified contractor is an investment in comfort, cost-effectiveness and safety.

Whether the heating system is fired by natural gas, propane, fuel oil, wood, wood pellets or anthracite, its installation and maintenance must be entrusted to a specialized contractor who holds a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). To verify if your heating system contractor holds the appropriate licence, please refer to the Licence holders repertory.Registre .

Please note also that the electrical connection of heating apparatus must be performed by a master electrician who is a member of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ).

Require the seal of approval for your equipment

Gas heating equipment sold in Quebec must bear the seal of approval of one of the following organizations:

  • CSA International (CSA)
  • Laboratoires des assureurs du Canada (ULC)
  • Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd. (WH, cETL)
  • Underwriters Laboratories Incorporated (cUL)
  • OMNI-Test Laboratories, Inc. (cO-TL).

The seal of approval warrants that the apparatus has been subject to stringent testing as per standards recognized in Canada in order to ensure safe and efficient operation.

To identify the seals or to contact one of the certification organizations: seals and details of the certification organizations.

Carry out an annual verification

Contrary to certain beliefs, all heating systems, including those fired by natural gas and propane, require regular maintenance, failing which carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may occur. CO gas is odorless and fatal!

Let’s not act like specialists in heating systems! For your own safety and the one of your significant other or family, have your heating system verified by a qualified contractor. This verification should be made every year, preferably before the beginning of the heating season.

A qualified contractor will make sure that your heating system receives enough fresh air, and that the combustion gases are completely evacuated. This expert shall examine the size of the openings through which the air is brought towards the heating system. An adequate air intake will minimize the production of CO.

Note that it is preferable (though not mandatory) to retain the proofs of the inspection of the heating system for insurance purposes. In case of a fire, these documents could be handed to the insurance adjuster.

If you do renovation work

Certain types of renovation work, such as finishing a basement, replacing windows or improving the insulation of a house, may alter the intake of fresh air, thus preventing a complete combustion. Not only such a situation will increase your heating bills, but it can also lead to an increase in the production of CO, thus representing a danger for you and your family / significant other. Discuss this with your contractor.

Mechanical ventilation

Houses are equipped with mechanical ventilation systems installed mainly in the bathroom (exhaust fan) and the kitchen (range hood). Furthermore, recent construction standards require a greater imperviousness of the house’s envelope.

Ask your contractor to make sure that the mechanical ventilation systems do not affect the good operation of your heating apparatus or the evacuation of combustion gases.

Evacuation of combustion products

Whether it is the heat exchanger of the apparatus, the flue, or the chimney itself, no component should preclude the complete evacuation of the combustion products. These components should be verified and cleaned if needed, as per the type of combustible used.

Certain appliances equipped with a heat exchanger with finned tubes are more subject to fouling, and thus should be cleaned regularly. Please note also that the sweeping of the chimney is essential in the case of solid fuels, and that caution is called for upon cleaning the flue lining so as not to damage it.

Carbon monoxide (CO) detector

It is recommended to install at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector inside the house, so that its occupants may be alerted of any possible emanation of this toxic gas from the heating system, but also from a fireplace, the workshop or even the parking garage. This additional measure of safety must in no circumstance replace the annual inspection of your heating system by a qualified contractor.

If the CO detector activates repeatedly, do not disconnect it. Immediately call upon a specialized contractor to seek the cause of this problem and remedy it.

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