Your home's mechanical systems

Your home’s mechanical equipment works to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for you and your family. Mechanical systems include all equipment used for space heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water heating. These systems add or remove heat, moisture and air from your home as needed. With your support, we are committed to keeping your home’s mechanical equipment working efficiently and effectively.

Annual inspections and maintenance

The Canadian Forces Housing Agency conducts annual inspections and maintenance to ensure that the equipment installed in your home remains in good working order and operates efficiently and safely. This equipment includes furnaces, heat recovery ventilators, heat pumps, hot water heaters, central air conditioners, and boilers.

Not all of these systems are present in every home, and despite our efforts to keep them working properly, issues can occur. By working together, we can limit those potential issues.

Energy savings and indoor air quality


Thermostats control warm air, cool air and ventilation in your home. The average indoor temperature in Canada is set to 21° Celsius. Changing the temperature 2-3 degrees from the average is the optimum point for energy savings. The more you lower the thermostat setting, the greater the possibility for savings. However, if you set the temperature too low, it can increase humidity and impact proper air circulation in your home.

Never turn your thermostat down below 15° Celsius, or shut off your furnace or hot water tank, even if you’re away from home. This prevents unnecessary damage and insurance claims.

Bathroom and kitchen fans

Bathroom and kitchen fans are an important part of your home’s ventilation system. They enable exchange of air and remove moisture. Run bathroom and kitchen fans during and for 15 minutes after showering or cooking to ensure proper ventilation of moisture. This helps to prevent the occurrence of mould.

Heat recovery ventilators

Heat recovery ventilators are energy-efficient air exchange systems that enhance indoor air quality and ventilation. They introduce and circulate a continuous stream of fresh, filtered outdoor air to living areas of the home while exhausting stale air.

They are sometimes installed in military housing managed by CFHA to manage radon. To increase the indoor air quality in your home, plug in and use the heat recovery ventilator if one is installed in your home. Contact your local Housing Services Centre for more information.

Troubleshooting your equipment

If you are experiencing trouble with one of your systems, the following tips may help you solve the problem. Please check them and action appropriately.

Your thermostat and temperature setting:

  • Make sure the equipment is turned ON
  • Make sure the equipment is set appropriately for heating or cooling
  • Make sure the installed batteries are in working order
  • Make sure the temperature is set higher than room temperature for heating (or lower than room temperature for cooling)

Your furnace:

  • Make sure the furnace emergency switch is in the ON position (switch normally located in basement stairwell)
  • Make sure the breaker, located in the electrical panel, is in the ON position
  • Make sure the natural gas inlet valves are open
  • Make sure the filter is clean
  • Make sure exhaust and intake vents are not obstructed by debris such as leaves or snow
  • Make sure the outside gas meter is not covered by ice and snow

Your electric or gas water heater:

  • If the tank is leaking, contact your local Housing Services Centre
  • Make sure the circuit breaker marked "hot water heater," in the electrical panel, is in the ON position
  • Make sure the gas valve serving the hot water tank is in the open position

If the maintenance problem persists, contact your Housing Services Centre to report the problem.

Related links

To learn more about indoor air quality and how the equipment in your home enables proper ventilation, contact your local Housing Services Centre or visit these websites:

It pays to change your furnace filter!

Although we provide annual maintenance on your entire home’s mechanical equipment, clogged filters make heating and cooling systems run less efficiently. Use less energy and save money by changing your furnace filter monthly. Filters are easily replaceable without tools and can be purchased at your local hardware or big-box stores. To determine appropriate size, see the edge of existing installed furnace filter.

Safety tips

Smell of gas

You should never smell natural gas (rotten eggs) or gas-like odours; if you detect any odour of gas, immediately leave the building and call 911.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarm

Carbon monoxide alarms are installed in all our homes with fuel burning appliances. If a carbon monoxide alarm is sounding, immediately leave the building and call 911.

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