It is the last thing you want to happen at 2 a.m. when it’s -30 C outside – suddenly your furnace stops running.
There is a chance that could happen if you have not checked your furnace by now.
“We recommend that it be checked once a year,” explained Curtis Beingessner, owner of Arrow Plumbing and Heating in Regina. “The newer furnaces have a lot more gadgets and widgets on them and there’s more stuff [that could] go wrong.”
Beingessner said the biggest tip is to make sure the furnace filter is clean which will improve the air flow and allow the furnace to heat the home properly.
“If they have high efficiency furnaces, the biggest thing is to make sure their venting outside is clear. Sometimes we get some freak snow storms or frost or something that plugs up the intakes and we get a lot of two o’clock in the morning calls where it’s something simple where the homeowner could’ve checked prior to.”
Beingessner explains a furnace is similar to a car in the sense that if it is not checked regularly, the chance of it breaking down increases. For example, he pointed to pressure switches going out, fan motors failing, and flame sensors not sensing the flame as possible outcomes if a furnace is not maintained.
“The majority of the time [a furnace breaks down] at two o’clock in the morning, so we want to help out not to incur any overtime charges other than what we have to and the best thing is to just make sure it’s running properly and have it looked at.”
Beingessner said it is unlikely a newer furnace will catch fire because more safety measures are built into it. However, if you have had your furnace for 15 years or more, he has some advice.
“The biggest thing is to make sure the heat exchanger isn’t blocked. If the burners haven’t been burning properly then you run the chance of carboning up your heat exchanger and then that’s when you could have a problem with carbon monoxide rolling out and causing problems within the home.”
Beingessner said his company has seen business pick up in January, and there is a good chance that is in direct correlation with the temperatures beginning to drop.