Solid Fuel Heating Service and Repairs in William Lake & 100 Mile House, BC

The Cariboo Region isn’t known for its balmy winters. During the shortest, coldest nights of the year, the temperatures can drop to well below freezing. In that kind of weather, homeowners need to have heating systems they can depend on to keep their families warm all year long.

Solid fuel heating systems can be used as a home’s primary source of heat or as a backup system for electric heaters or propane furnaces, both of which can easily fail during serious storms. Read on to find out more about these types of heating systems and what it takes to keep them in optimal condition.

Types of Solid Fuel Heaters

Solid fuel heating systems can be divided into two general categories: open fires and closed fires. That said, a homeowner’s options extend beyond fireplaces and traditional wood stoves. Additional options include:

Fireplace Inserts

Solid fuel fireplace inserts can burn either wood or pellets. The newer models that are EPA-certified burn cleaner than open fireplaces, making them both more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Wood-burning inserts work much like traditional wood stoves, while pellet-fired inserts use a small amount of electricity to supply pellets at a steady rate over an extended period.

Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves look like wood stoves but they’re designed to burn wood pellets made of sawdust and wood waste. These types of solid fuel heaters are much more efficient than wood stoves, though, and many of the more advanced models come equipped with thermostats to reduce the feed rates when heat demand is low.

Solid Fuel Boilers

Solid fuel boilers use wood, coal, pellets, or peat as fuel sources, although it’s worth mentioning that each of them can only use one type of fuel. While the boilers of old were known for being inefficient and dangerous, today’s solid fuel boilers use a process called pyrolysis to work at optimal efficiency and create a safer burn.

Solid Fuel Heater Maintenance and Repairs

Solid fuel heaters are relatively simple in design, but that doesn’t mean they require no professional maintenance, nor does it mean that they will never break down. The best way to prevent unexpected breakdowns is to hire a Solid Fuel Heating Service to perform annual inspections and tune-ups.

One of the other benefits of contacting a professional heating service now before anything goes wrong is that homeowners will know who to call when they need a Solid Fuel Heating Repair service. Even with proper maintenance, boilers, fireplace inserts, wood stoves, and pellet stoves can still break down.

As with any household appliance, it’s best to call for help as soon as possible instead of waiting for a minor issue with a solid fuel heater to turn into a catastrophic problem. Pay attention to how the heater operates and call a professional repair service if any of the warning signs below rear their ugly heads.

  • Unusually strong formation of soot
  • Increased fuel consumption that is accompanied by reduced efficiency
  • Redness or deformation of any boiler element
  • Unusual sounds coming from a solid fuel boiler
  • High temperatures of exhaust gas

The Importance of Hiring a Professional

While today’s solid fuel heating systems are much safer than those of centuries past, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for homeowners to attempt their own repairs. Improperly performed repairs can cause additional breakages and can create seriously dangerous situations. To avoid the risk of fires or explosions, keep the number for a heating service readily available and call whenever anything goes wrong.

Tasks Homeowners Can Perform at Home

While no one without professional training should attempt to repair a solid fuel heater, homeowners can take a few steps to keep their systems running at optimal efficiency. They include:

  • Choosing properly sized stoves
  • Purchasing only high-quality fuels
  • Filling the firebox to capacity
  • Removing ash buildup at least twice a day
  • Sweeping the chimney at least three times a year
  • Checking the settings regularly

Performing basic maintenance tasks like removing ash and ensuring that the heater is working at optimal efficiency by filling the firebox to capacity will help to prevent unnecessary problems. It can also save homeowners money. An efficient solid fuel heater will require less fuel than one that isn’t kept in good condition.

Call for Service

Worried about staying warm next winter? Burgess Plumbing Heating & Electrical offers a full range of services for home support systems. We’ve been in business for over half a century, and in that time, we’ve seen it all. The best part of working with Burgess is that we offer all the home support system services that families need, from Plumbing services to boiler repairs and more. Schedule an appointment online or call (250) 392-3301 in Williams Lake or (250) 395-4800 in 100 Mile House to speak with a company representative.