How to avoid disaster if your furnace goes cold

WATCH ABOVE: During the extreme cold weather Alberta is experiencing, a furnace is critical. But this is also the time of year when it can leave you in the cold. Nicole Stillger has what you need to know to avoid an unexpected and frigid situation.

During a bitter cold snap like the one currently facing Albertans, your furnace is critical.

That’s why Sunday — one of the coldest days of the year so far — wasn’t an ideal time for Deb Kardash’s furnace to stop working.

“I noticed it got a bit chilly in the house and looked at my thermostat and saw it had gone down about three degrees or so,” Kardash explained.

The issues started late Sunday.

“Thankfully it hadn’t crapped out completely — it was still running but just not putting out the heat,” she said.

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Kardash called for help Monday. In the meantime, she took advantage of her electric fireplace and oven.

During these extremely cold temperatures, Steven Maxim with Pro Plumbing and Heating stays quite busy.

“We see an increase in calls for furnace work,” Maxim said. “There’s generally a real concern for the cold.”

Maxim suggests if you find yourself left in the cold, first turn off your water so your pipes don’t freeze.

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“Once the heat comes back on, the pipes can burst then you have a flood condition — it’s a very big deal,” he explained.

According to Maxim, high-efficiency furnaces have pipes that lead outside, bringing moisture with them.

“It can actually freeze over and you can see ice on the vent lines coming out of your house,” he said.

“You might want to break that ice off get that proper flow of air to go through.”

Ultimately he recommends checking your filters often.

“Keep it clean, get that filter changed out,” Maxim said.

As for Kardash, it’s not the first time she’s been in a situation where her furnace stopped working, but this time she says she will start scheduling regular maintenance.

“Have them come out and check things — and I need to mark on my calendar to change the furnace filter on a regular basis,” she said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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