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How to maintain your appliances

Regular maintenance of your appliances allows them to run at optimal performance and extends the life of your appliances. Here are a few maintenance tips for the three most commonly used appliances; boilers, warm air furnaces and hot water heaters. You'll find maintenance items which must be carried out by a qualified technician as well as others which you can carry out yourself.

You're a business customer? We also have tips for you.

General tips

  • Avoid using any appliance when the flame is yellow or orange (other than fireplace). The natural gas flame should be blue.
  • Maintain the appliance's air intake and exhaust vents, making sure that nothing is blocking the ventilation or the exhaust of combustion gases.
  • The exterior natural gas installations (connection, meter, air intake and exhaust pipe) must be accessible at all times. The connection must therefore be kept clear of any snow or ice accumulation. This situation could lead to the interruption of the natural gas supply or a substandard appliance performance.
  • Regular maintenance of natural gas appliances by certified professionals is essential, as for any appliance, regardless of the energy source. To ensure that your appliances are working properly, have them inspected by experts annually. Make sure that you contract with a company that is licenced by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and a member of the Corporation of Master Pipe-Mechanics of Québec (CMMTQ). Technicians and plumbers working on natural gas appliances must hold a certificate of qualification in natural gas equipment issued by Emploi-Québec.
Hot water boiler

Maintenance by qualified person

  • Annual maintenance of your boiler is strongly recommended for the proper operation and efficiency of your equipment. Such work should be carried out by qualified technicians. Gaz Métro Plus, or an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partner , has maintenance plans for you.
  • Annual maintenance includes water and air level checks, combustion chamber maintenance, water drainage (if necessary), conduit leak checks, combustion efficiency measurements, etc.

Maintenance by owner

  • Make sure your boiler is set to the minimum temperature required for the heat distribution system and meets your needs and final uses.
  • Check pumps and valves to detect any water leaks.
  • Look for boiler wall and hot water distribution pipe hot points that identify
    insulation gaps. Remember, if it's too hot to handle, you're losing heat.
  • Purge the air out of the radiators by leaving the faucet open until water starts coming out. Clean the radiator fins regularly for increased efficiency.
Warm air furnace

Maintenance by qualified person

  • Annual maintenance of your warm air furnace is strongly recommended to ensure both its proper operation and efficiency. This is especially the case for new intermediate or high efficiency models whose electronic controls and safety devices should be checked regularly. Such work should be carried out by qualified technicians. Gaz Métro Plus, or an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partne, has maintenance plans for you.
  • Have the exhaust shaft (chimney) checked occasionally from the inside and from the outside, to detect any signs of deterioration due to condensation or corrosion. If you have a high performance condensing system, make sure the technician checks the gas exhaust pipe to ensure it follows an upright slope and the end is not obstructed.

Maintenance by owner

  • Remove any obstacles in conduits, registers and cold air return registers so that the air can circulate freely throughout the network.
  • Clean the air filter of the warm air furnace regularly during heating season in order to ensure optimal air circulation.

Water heater

Maintenance by qualified person

  • Adopt a regular maintenance plan for your equipment. Such work should be carried out by qualified technicians. Gaz Métro Plus, or an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partner, has maintenance plans for you.
  • Have the water heater drained once a year. This will eliminate deposits at the bottom of the tank and save you replacement and repair as well as energy consumption costs
  • Repair leaky water faucets and install aerators.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes, especially those that run through unheated areas, with urethane or fibreglass tubes to reduce heat loss.

Air ducts

Maintenance by qualified person

  • To optimize the performance and energy efficiency of heating and air-conditioning equipment, it is recommended to clean the air ducts every three years, and even more frequently in some cases. Efficient cleaning of ducts helps prevent inadequate ventilation. Dust accumulation requires repetitive maintenance of components as it may: cause significant heat loss, clog filtration systems and degrade the appliance’s mechanical performance and shorten its service life through overheating of the exchanger.
  • What’s more, cleaning ducts vastly improves air quality for occupants. A thorough cleaning removes contaminants such as dust, allergens, bacteria, mould, germs and more.

Have your appliances been around for many years

To save even more, perhaps it's time to replace them by new high energy-efficient ones. Take advantage of grants available to upgrade your equipment.

See grants