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Furnace frustration as temperatures dip in Winnipeg

Winnipeg — A bitterly cold winter is taking its toll on furnaces in Winnipeg – with many home heating systems giving up and shutting down at the worst possible time.

“A homeowner might not know it even has a problem until you get really cold weather and then it just doesn’t keep up,” said Mark Boissoneault, whose Tradesman Heating and Air Conditioning company is fielding several calls for help repairing stalled furnaces every day.

That’s what happened to Eric Lett.  On February 16th he woke up at four in the morning to discover there wasn’t any heat in his north end home.

“It is nerve wracking when you wake up and there is no heat,” Lett said.

“You are supposed to feel safe and secure inside your house and that feeling kind of goes away when something like that goes wrong,” Lett added.

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He had the 15-year-old furnace repaired and two days later it shut off again.  After repairing the furnace for a second time, there was still no heat in the home and the furnace needed to be replaced.

“There is a little sense of panic because you don’t know what’s wrong,” Lett said.

Wait times for someone to look at the furnace ranges, from one hour to four.  If a new furnace is needed, it takes an eight hour day to switch out the system.

Boissoneault says there are three main things a homeowner can do to try to prevent a furnace from breaking down.

“Change the filter regularly say every three or four months.  The other thing would be don’t forget to change the batteries in your thermostat every year and and don’t block too many of your vents,” Boissoneault explained.

According to Trademan Heating and Airconditioning, a furnace should last 15 years if there is an annual maintenance check.

 

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