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Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.

The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.


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The curious case of the cold bathroom: Tarion Representative goes deeper to resolve furnace issues
November 3, 2016
The curious case of the cold bathroom: Tarion Representative goes deeper to resolve furnace issues

There’s an old adage that goes something like this: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Known as the duck test, it focuses on exterior characteristics to come to a logical conclusion. The test works. It has been used to validate many suspicions and has supported countless arguments over the ages (the saying dates back to an 18th century French scientist).

Yet, it can’t be used in every situation.

There are times when you need to look beneath the surface to understand the other factors at play and to uncover what is really going on. This is very much what Tarion’s Warranty Services Representatives do when investigating homeowner complaints.

Going deeper to understand the heating issue

Here’s an example. After moving into her newly built home, Sangeeta (not her real name) worried that there was a problem with her heating system. Her new house maintained a comfortable temperature as was set using the home’s thermostat, except for one room; the ensuite bathroom. It was cool, even cold, especially in the mornings.

Her new house maintained a comfortable temperature, except for one room; the ensuite bathroom. It was cool, even cold, especially in the mornings.
Sangeeta assessed the situation for some time and came to believe that the difference in temperatures in her home had to be the result of a defect with her home’s heating system. With her home still under warranty, she contacted Tarion for help.

Assigned to a Warranty Representative, Sangeeta described her situation. Based on her facts, it appeared that Sangeeta may be on the right track that there was a problem with her furnace.

Getting the full picture from furnace to thermostat

Trained to go deeper and leverage his intuition, our Tarion Representative wanted to better understand what was going on. So, he performed an in-home assessment of the furnace, the thermostat and the bathroom in question.

What he learned was that Sangeeta took care of her home.

The furnace filter was clean and Sangeeta confirmed she changed it regularly. The thermostat also seemed to be in good working order. Air vents were open and left clear, allowing for air to flow properly.

There didn’t seem to be an obvious defect with the furnace. But something was amiss. So the Tarion Representative took the time to ask Sangeeta some questions.

Uncovering a simple solution: proper thermostat programing

In doing so, the Representative discovered that Sangeeta liked her home to be cooler at night and programmed her thermostat to drop eight degrees in the late evening. The temperature automatically increased in the morning – at the very same time Sangeeta was in the shower. He also learned the furnace fan was not set to continuous, so the fan only ran when the heat was on.

With a bathroom outfitted with a ceramic floor and a ceramic tile wainscoting feature on the walls – two of which were exterior walls – the bathroom required additional time to heat up.

With this new information, the Tarion Representative concluded that the issue was not a defect with the furnace and recommended Sangeeta reprogram her thermostat to ensure there was enough time for her bathroom to heat up to a more comfortable temperature in the morning.

Do you have a story?

Did you experience an issue with your new home that Tarion helped resolve? If so, share it with us so other homeowners have the information they need to protect their rights.

The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.