Furnace Advice for Snowbirds

Mar 5, 2019

During Winnipeg’s freezing cold winters, it’s incredibly important to have a functioning furnace. Without one, you’re bound to be way too chilly; so cold, in fact, that it can be life-threatening. No one really needs to be told this, because it’s obvious as soon as your furnace stops providing the necessary heat; you’ll be so uncomfortable that you’ll call to have your furnace repaired right away. This discomfort is why a lot of us vacation in the winter – some for a week or two, others for months at a time. Being away doesn’t mean you don’t need a working furnace, though; without heat pouring through your house, your water pipes can freeze, causing severe and lasting damage to your home. That means it’s important to ensure your furnace is in great working condition before you leave for a long period of time.

The most important thing to do if you’re going on holiday is arranging for someone to check on your house regularly. You should look at the exact terms in your home insurance policy, but most of them will not pay out claims for frozen and burst water pipes if your home was unattended; how often someone needs to check on your home may change from policy to policy, but you’ll generally want someone to check in every day, even if not required by your policy, just to make sure nothing bursts. You should leave them a spare key and detailed notes, signed by you, about their home inspection duties. It may be preferable to get a smart lock with an app or keycode; you don’t want to be in a circumstance where they lose the key and you have to call a locksmith.

Getting someone to come in and check on your furnace before you leave may be wise; regular Winnipeg furnace maintenance is essential to ensuring a comfortable, safe, insurance-claim free winter. Furnaces are incredibly complex machines, and anything from an unchanged filter to mechanical wear and tear can cause devastating problems if not checked on. Before you leave, having a furnace maintenance contractor take a look at the functioning of your furnace to ensure that everything is running smoothly is a great idea. When you have a particularly old furnace, it can be a good idea to replace it before the winter season hits, in order to have a greater guarantee that nothing will go wrong.

While you’re away, it’s appropriate to have your furnace running at a lower temperature than it normally would; this helps save energy while still ensuring your pipes don’t freeze. What temperature you should keep your home at depends on a few factors, including what plants you have at home and what your insurance policy stipulates, but generally temperatures between about 12 and 18 degrees Celsius should be sufficient. Should you have any questions about how hot your home should be, consult with your insurance broker and your heating and cooling company; together, we can make sure your home stays safe while you’re soaking in some sunny rays.


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