Ask George/FAQs

OUTDOOR

Like most purchases you will make buying a BBQ should be treated like an investment, cheap BBQ’s will become land fill in one to 5 years, even some of the brand name ones. It is important to purchase a BBQ with an exceptional warranty and from a manufacturer that has a long-established reputation. Most of the BBQs we sell have a minimum 15 year warranty and some models have limited lifetime warranties which are the highest quality available.

The warranty from the manufacturer is number one, then the quality features that make the BBQ a better value like indestructible stainless steel cooking grids with a lifetime warranty, an easy to maintain porcelain lid, galvanized steel components with powder coated finishes. Enough btu’s per square inch to work in our Canadian winters.

Charcoal (natural lump) Ex: Big Green Egg, Ambiance

  • Food flavour: it simply tastes better
  • Versatile: from smoking at 200 degrees to searing at 1,000 degrees
  • Some charcoal cookers also double as pizza ovens
  • Takes longer to heat up than gas or propane, and 7-10 Hour cooking time is common
  • Requires more cleaning and can be dirtier than other types of BBQs

Propane or Natural Gas Ex: Napoleon Rogue, Prestige and Prestige Pro

  • Ease of use: turn on and it is ready to use
  • Very easy to clean and maintain
  • Natural Gas: You will never run out of fuel, can have up to a 25-foot flex hose for moving BBQ from one location to another
  • Food does not taste as flavourful as cooking over charcoal, most BBQs can no longer be converted from one fuel to the other (and / or its not financially practical to do so); some propane BBQs can be piped into your home propane (if you have one)

Where to Purchase? The Big Box stores specialize in the sale of bargain BBQs. Their BBQs will differ from BBQs offered at specialty stores:

  • Specialty BBQ stores service what they sell.
  • Parts on higher quality BBQs will be available for longer periods of time
  • Specialty BBQs are made of 304 grade stainless steel, porcelain enamel and powder coated galvanized whereas many Big Box BBQs use 410 stainless steel (both look the same, but 410 rusts) and poor quality painted metal that will rust in our climate.
  • Specialty store BBQs often have lifetime warranties on many components

Visit our showroom or online store for the best models from the best brands.

Look for quality and longevity. The big box store fire pits and tables are normally constructed of low-grade metal with a painted or powder coat finish that looks quite presentable, however, the body will rust after 1-3 years and they will become land fill. Most have a one-year warranty and even this is hard to obtain as it is a 1-800 number that rings somewhere. When you buy a brand name fire pit or fire table from Ultimate Home Comfort it has a warranty that means something. We sell Napoleon patio flame fire pits made from stainless steel with 5-year warranties, all of our Napoleon Fire tables are nearly 100% aluminum with stainless steel burner trays and they are guaranteed for 3 years. Better quality means a better product that will last and cost less in the long run.

Yes, there are two options gas and electric.

Electric – operates better in a windy situation but is more costly to operate and requires a lot of power.

Gas – Is less expensive to operate and comes in larger sizes to heat larger areas. They also come in portable models that run on propane and they can be moved to wherever the heat Is required.

The cheaper umbrella type patio heaters are not a good investment as parts are almost impossible to get since the majority of these units are made in China and parts are simply not available, so they are not a good investment

We sell the Napoleon brand of outdoor fireplaces and they can be built into a non-combustible structure with no venting and be piped into your existing gas supply if you have it. They come in traditional and linear models so no matter what your taste we have the option for you. They are made of high-grade stainless steel to survive our Canadian winters and our corrosive Atlantic Canadian environment.

HEARTH and FIRE

This is a huge question with many answers, and it is all about lifestyle. If fuel savings is your objective then a wood or pellet appliance is a good choice, however, they are also the most labour intensive to operate and maintain. Gas and electric appliances are more expensive to operate but they are the easiest to control and require little if any maintenance or owner involvement. As the population gets older it is generally more important to them that they have something convenient and easy to use than save money.

After the fuel choice has been made it is time to choose the actual appliance configuration that is best for you. If you have a masonry fireplace in a room that gets a lot of use, then a masonry insert can be installed inside the existing masonry fireplace. Pellet, wood and gas appliances will require a liner system to vent the products of combustion up the chimney while electric only requires a 110V plug in to operate, the chimney can then be sealed to keep the heat in the house. If there is no masonry fireplace or the masonry fireplace is in a room that is seldom used them a stove or zero clearance fireplace is the answer. Wood stoves and zero clearance fireplaces must have a dedicated high temperature chimney installed from their location to a point above the roof line of the home which adds additional cost. Pellet and gas stoves and zero clearance fireplaces only require an outside wall as they direct vent to the exterior of the building, electric stoves and fireplaces only require a 110V plug in to complete the installation. A zero-clearance fireplace is an appliance that is installed on a combustible floor and is built into a wall so that just the fireplace opening is visible.

Note: if the appliance is going to be used for heating it is recommended that it be installed on the level of the house that you want to heat the most and that is used the most, a stove or zero clearance fireplace installed in an uninsulated basement or a basement that is never used is not the best idea.

This is the age-old question, bigger is never better. All hearth appliances need to operate in their entire heating range. Running a hearth appliance on low all the time so it is not going to heat you out of the room is a poor choice. Hearth appliances are made to be enjoyed while they are running, and the vast majority will run better when they run continuously when used. A smaller stove will run longer but the objective is to enjoy the ambiance of the appliance, the heat loss and size of the room comes into play when choosing the size right product for you

The sole purpose of a fan is to move air around the room to make the room comfortable faster and distribute the heat from the stove or fireplace over a larger area. A fan installed as part of the hearth appliance will require 110V power to operate so the fan will not work in a power outage. There are thermoelectric fans available that sit on top of a wood or gas stove that use the heat from the stove to generate electricity to power the fan, these are the best choices for people looking for air movement in a power outage.

Unlike pellet appliances virtually all gas fired hearth products will operate as emergency heaters with no 110V power, the only part which will not work is the internal fan. The newer appliances do not have standing pilot lights and require batteries to operate the fireplace when 110V power is not present. Make sure you know what type of batteries your gas appliance needs and keep them on hand for emergencies.

In the province of Nova Scotia all gas appliances are required to be installed by a provincially licensed individual. Wood and pellet appliances are governed by your insurance company, anyone can install a wood or pellet burning appliance however, the insurance carrier for your home insurance will require that the appliance be inspected by a WETT certified individual prior to the appliance being used. The best choice is to have a hearth product professional install the wood or pellet burning appliance and venting system to avoid any unnecessary surprises and extra costs.

In two words; service and expertise, big box stores sell exactly that, big boxes. They are solely focused on delivering the cheapest products that meet minimum safety and quality requirements, in short, they sell on price alone. If you purchase from a big box store even if they have installation capability, they have no service, and their answer is to return the product if it doesn’t work. A professional hearth store has dedicated employees that provide unmatched before and after value to the purchasing decision. They are there at the start of the project to select the right product that meets your needs and lifestyle, during the project and more importantly after the product is installed to provide lifelong support to the products, they sell whether it be annual maintenance to ensure the safety and efficiency of your product to parts supply to make sure you get the service life out of your product. You will not get that at the big box store, parts and service are words they simply don’t understand.

“Price is the money you paid for the product or service you received; value is what you get for the money you have paid.” “Cheap is seldom good and good is seldom cheap.”

Absolutely, this provides you with a one stop shop and single source of contact for on going propane supply and parts and service. One number to call and one call to make to ensure you get the full value of the appliance you have purchased. Our propane customers get priority service always, even when we are our busiest in the heating season and we have access to the parts required when there are problems.

Propane HVAC

A gas tankless water heater is simply the most efficient way to heat water, whether you need a small amount of how water or want to shower all day the gas tankless water heater is the way to go. It is a wall mounted appliance that sits at room temperature until someone opens a hot water faucet, when the hot water faucet is open the tankless water heater comes to life and heats water as long as the faucet is open. The smaller unit can provide two showers all day long and the larger unit can supply three showers all day long on a continuous basis. If you do not use a lot of hot water or you are always running out the gas tankless is the answer. The Bosch tankless water heaters we sell have the best warranties in the HVAC industry and will outlast any steel tank type water heater.

The short answer is no, most companies install electric heat as the back up to the heat pump and this can take as much as ½ of the power available in your power panel. A gas furnace back up heat pump system only requires a 110V connection for the furnace and the heat pump itself only draws between 20-30 Amps of power to operate. The power pig in most heat pump installations is the electric back up heat, not the heat pump itself.

That is a loaded question as the price of propane residentially does not fluctuate but the price of oil fluctuates seasonally. All summer oil is cheap, but you don’t need it then, when winter comes and demand rises so does the price making propane gas a better choice due to the price stability. Gas warm air furnaces run at 96% efficiency while oil fired warm air furnaces struggle to run at 50 to 60% efficiency. Oil fired boilers are worse, the majority of oil-fired boilers in use in Nova Scotia are used for domestic hot water which requires the oil boiler to stay at 180 degrees F 24/7/365 which means they do a great job of heating the inside of the chimney. Most of the gas heating and water heating equipment is all on demand, they will not come on unless there is a call for heat from a thermostat or someone opens a hot water faucet.  To compound the issue oil appliances, require an oil tank which requires regular replacement, and most insurance companies charge a premium for having an oil tank on your property due to the environmental threat posed by an oil leak. Oil leaks are tragic and using propane eliminates the threat.  While we always recommend annual maintenance on our equipment, gas appliances require less maintenance than oil fired equipment and generate 50% less greenhouse emissions than oil fired equipment.

There are basically two grades of propane storage containers, DOT cylinders and ASME tanks. DOT cylinders which are used by most of the propane companies require the cylinder be removed from service every 10 years to have the relief valve replaced, they are basically over sized BBQ cylinders. ASME tanks are what we use exclusively for HVAC and their service life is 25 years at which point the tank must be removed from service and the relief valve replaced.

At Ultimate Home Comfort we are an HVAC company that sells propane, the other suppliers are largely oil companies who try to sell HVAC, there is a noticeable difference. We sell, install and service only two brands of propane HVAC equipment, we do not have the flavour the of the year brand so we can stock parts for all the equipment we have in the field as it is all from the same two manufacturers. Oil companies selling propane equipment tend to focus on who has the cheapest product this year as they treat their HVAC products as a commodity purchase. We choose our propane HVAC products by the quality and service provided by the manufacturer. We have sold Lennox equipment exclusively for over 20 years and we have sold Bosch HVAC solutions for over 5 years and are currently a Bosch Platinum dealer which means we have met and exceeded their requirements to be able to sell their products.

Absolutely, this makes it a one stop shop with one call to make if you have delivery or service issues. All our propane HVAC customers receive priority service even in the midst of the busy heating season. Your propane HVAC supplier should be full service with in house parts supply and 24-hour service should the need arise. Annual maintenance is also a key component, your supplier should offer off season maintenance so when the need for the appliance to operate comes it is ready for action eliminating the need for emergency service. At Ultimate we work to make the entire process from selecting the properly sized equipment to installing it with professional licensed personnel to after sale service that is second to none all to make your experience as comfortable and stress free as possible.

Absolutely not, whether it is a forced air furnace, a forced air furnace with a heat pump, a heating boiler or a combi boiler bigger is never better. Ultimate Home Comfort being a propane HVAC company that sells propane our objective is to supply the right sized product to provide the most comfort and efficiency available. Most of the other players in the propane HVAC market are oil companies that sell propane, and such have no idea how to properly size a heating system and have made their money selling oversized inefficient systems that benefit them most. They do not train their staff to size the systems properly and use a one size fits all mentality. The one size fits all moto does not work in the HVAC industry and we take great pains to ensure the product is the right size and configuration to maximize the comfort and efficiency of the HVAC system.

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