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How To Know If Your Furnace Will Survive Winter

There’s no doubt about it – Winter is here. With that, it’s important to make sure your home’s most important feature throughout the winter – your furnace – will survive the frosty weather. We’ve compiled a list of important considerations to determine if your furnace will survive the coldest months of the year. We also have a few suggestions on how to extend your furnace’s life.

Consider your furnace’s lifespan

Typically, furnaces last about 15 years. If your furnace is older than that, it might be worth thinking about getting a new one before a true deep freeze sets in. Regular maintenance can help keep your furnace in great shape. Make sure to have your furnace looked at by a qualified professional. If the repairs end up being more than half the value of a new furnace, it might be time to think about getting a new one.


Furnaces that are in their best condition, like new or well-maintained furnaces, operate efficiently. As they get older, performance and furnace efficiency start to drop. Who wants to deal with higher heating bills or uneven heating? Regular maintenance can help avoid these problems. However, if you’ve noticed that your heating bill has already risen, talk about it with a professional. He or she will be able to help you identify the problem.

Unusual noises and smells

If your furnace is making unusual noises (don’t be afraid to get up close to listen) or emitting weird smells, there should be cause for concern. If you hear buzzing, rattling or humming, call a professional to get it inspected right away.

Now that you know what to look out for, here are a few tips on helping your furnace power through Alberta winters.

Keep your air filter clean

When it’s extremely cold outside, your furnace needs all the help it can get to keep your home warm. Having a clean air filter will prevent your furnace from working harder than it needs to.

Hold off setting back your thermostat

We often set our programmable thermostats to a lower temperature while we’re away from home in order to conserve energy. While this may seem like a great idea, it may be more trouble than it's worth in the dead of winter. When it’s freezing outside, it’s harder for your furnace to bring your home back up to the desired room temperature. Keeping your thermostat at a consistent setting until the weather warms up outside might be your best bet.

Ask a neighbour to check on your house when you’re gone

If your furnace goes out during extreme cold weather and you’re not home, your house may be at risk for problems such as frozen pipes. If you’re going on vacation, have a neighbour or family member check on your home to ensure your heat is working. The last thing you want upon arrival is a colossal mess.

We hope these considerations and tips help your furnace survive even our coldest winter months.

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