Heating - Francis Plumbing


Home Heating: Furnaces (Forced Air Heating), Boilers (Hydronic Heating) & Heat Pumps

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Forced Air Heating (HVAC) uses hot air which is blown through a duct system. The same duct system can also be used for air conditioning in the warmer months. A forced air heating system is usually called a “furnace” and can be purchased alone or in a heating and cooling system combination with a central air conditioner. Furnaces also include HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems), Heat Pump, and more. It also includes indoor air quality (IAQ) such as filters, humidifiers, UV lights and more.  Click here to learn more about furnaces

See our current Furnace Specials Page for the latest specials.


Hydronic Heating / Boilers uses hot water to provide warmth through piping and radiators. A hydronic heating system is usually called a “Boiler”

Boiler systems can include: radiators, radiant floor heating, towel warmers, and more. Click here to learn more about boilers



Heat Pumps (usually part of an HVAC system) does not burn fossil fuels making it the green choice (it moves heat, it does not create heat). The heat pump extracts heat from outside and transfers that heat inside the home in the winter time. A newer low temperature heat pump can pull heat from outdoors even if the temperatures are -15°C. When it is warm outside the system can run in reverse pulling the heat out of the home cooling the house like an air conditioner.

Tempstar Heat Pump

Regardless of which heating system you use the most expensive operating costs of running a home in Ottawa is your heating bill from your boiler, furnace, HVAC, HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) or Heat Pump. Yet many people today still heat their homes in the most expensive way possible through old out dated boiler systems and inefficient allergy irritating forced air systems. This not only wastes thousands of dollars and is hard on the environment but it can also compromise your family’s health.

When it comes to our home heating system we have come to rely on them without even thinking about them. These heating systems are always running in the winter working for you to keep your family warm but at what cost?

So the smart homeowner is now looking for options to reduce heating costs while still providing the comfort and dependability they need.

In today’s homes these comfort systems are becoming more and more complex as our demands for comfort and energy conservation continue to grow. Whether you are considering modifying your current heating system to improve efficiencies and reduce health risks or you are looking to simply upgrade to a newer more efficient heating system that will save you money there are many options available to you.

So how is a homeowner to know what is best for their home and budget?

Without an education in hydronic boilers, radiant floor heating, tankless heating, forced air furnace, heat pumps, HRV (heat recover ventilation), and combi heating systems it is impossible to know which to choose let alone what to begin looking for without some help. And even if you had the education technology is constantly changing introducing newer more efficient environmentally friendly equipment which means even more options…

The information can be overwhelming so most homeowners turn to a trusted heating specialist to help them make these decisions.

Boilers & Hydronics or Forced Air HVAC systems

HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning – basically if it blows air through vents (heated air for furnaces or chilled air for air conditioners) it falls under the category of HVAC.

Any heating company (HVAC or Hydronics heating company) can install a forced air heating systems & service it but that doesn’t mean it will work as designed by the manufacture – there are too many things that can easily go wrong without proper training and certification.  Here are just a few of the issues homeowners have experienced when buying a cheap deal from HVAC companies without that training and manufacturer certification. Poor quality installation can negate the quality of the equipment, negate the efficiency, negate the ability to perform maintenance, negatively impact longevity (shortens life of the equipment by 5 to 10 years), produce uneven temperatures and cold spots, can lead to mold growth, can lead to dry itchy skin, asthma and breathing issues, can lead to higher utility bills, and so much more. And these are just a few of the potential issues if an HVAC unit isn’t installed properly the first time.

When it comes to hydronics (water based heating systems like boilers, radiant floor heating, snow melt driveways, radiators and more…) it is essential to deal with an HVAC company that is ALSO a licensed plumbing company that specializes in hydronic heating or you could end up with a boiler that doesn’t produce enough heat, leaves your home with cold spots, or overheats your home or worse leaves your home with burst frozen pipes on the coldest winter days.

HVAC companies may be able to install basic boilers, but they don’t have the training in plumbing codes and thus frequently make costly mistakes during the installation and rarely can provide any ongoing service or repairs after the boiler installation is done (they aren’t trained or certified to work on these units, they just want the sale).

Francis Plumbing & Heating is not only a licensed HVAC contractor but is one of Ottawa’s oldest boiler specialist. The owner (a Certified Master Plumber, Hydronics Heating Specialist and Certified Hydronics Designer) has been installing boilers and hydronic heating systems for over 35 years following in his father’s and his grandfather’s footsteps working on everything from the 100 year old boiler systems to the latest high efficiency combi-boiler technology combining boilers with other applications like forced air systems and radiant floor heating and domestic hot water all with the same boiler system. Our team also includes Mark Francis (our cousin and the original owner of Francis Home Environment) who brings his professional HVAC experience to our exceptional team of licensed HVAC technicians.

Many older homes have old style boiler systems (before HVAC systems were created or introduced in residential applications) that can be up to 100 years old or more and the only way to know these systems is through experience in working with them since they no longer teach these old systems in school today.

In addition we keep current on the newest technology available for home heating and are professionally trained by the manufacturer in both service and installation of these new heating technologies.

Regardless of which kind of heating you are looking for, when it comes to your home, we have you covered.

Click here to learn more about boilers (hydronics)

Click here to learn more about furnaces (HVAC)

Click here for the latest furnace specials

How do we select which heating equipment to recommend and provide?

  • How can it serve our customers?
  • Does it meet Canadian Safety Standards & all Ontario plumbing & heating codes.
  • Is it reliable?
  • Can we use it in older homes or only new homes?
  • Will it save our customers money?
  • Is it good for our environment?
  • Is it affordable? Will it pay for itself in savings and if so what is the payback period for our customers?

We realize that for our customers there is more than just choosing the right system – it also has to be able to fit into the installation restrictions dictated by their homes layout, it needs to eliminate cold spots where the previous heating was unbalanced, it also needs to be personalized to fit the specific comfort needs of that home owner giving them the options to control their home comfort room by room.

When we call ourselves the boiler & hydronics specialist we aren’t just bragging – we ARE Ottawa’s most trusted boiler specialist since 1933 and we have the background and decades of training and experience to show for it. We continue to learn and train in order to serve you, our customer, better.

If you are interested in an in-home assessment of your current hydronic heating system with options for improving it or to arrange for annual maintenance to improve it’s efficiency call our office at 613-224-0041

Francis Plumbing, Heating and air conditioning making your home heating and cooling comfortable!

Don’t forget we also fix, repair, and upgrade heating systems and provide 24 hour emergency heating service.