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Cold snap wreaks havoc on pipes and furnace systems across Winnipeg

Ice overflowing from a residential pipe in Winnipeg. Josh Arason / Global News

From frozen pipes to frozen chimney stacks, the ongoing cold snap over the past week is wreaking havoc on furnace and pipe systems at houses across Winnipeg.

“We’re doing the best we can to keep up,” says Jason Reid, the general manager of Furnasman Heating and AC on Keewatin Street.

Read more: City of Winnipeg responds to 352 frozen pipe calls

Reid says his team of 12 technicians is dealing with more than 80 service calls per day.

‘No heat’ calls currently make up for 90 per cent of Furnasman’s incoming service requests.

Reid says all too often, the calls are a result of improper furnace care.

Jason Reid, the general manager at Furnasman Heating and AC. Marek Tkach / Global News

“Their furnace just isn’t blowing hot air. Plugged filters, dirty equipment just from lack of care,” he explained.

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Reid warns if your roof stack appears to be plugged by snow or ice, you should avoid getting on the roof and fixing it yourself.

A frozen chimney stack in Winnipeg. Josh Arason / Global News

“What you’re seeing now is a lot of those older stacks on older homes are cast iron, so they’ll freeze up and they’ll cause some problems in the house.”

Read more: Over $60 million announced to fund incentives to lower emissions in Manitoba

The City of Winnipeg is reminding residents to have their thermostat set to no lower than 12 degrees Celsius during winter months.

Derek Grignon of the city’s public education office says not caring for your furnace is dangerous and can end up being fatal. He adds the maintenance needs to happen indoors and out, since furnace vents can become blocked by heavy snow or ice.

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“There are consequences,” he said.

“Carbon monoxide can build up in your furnace room and spread to the rest of the house, so you have to make sure you keep the furnace vent clear of snow and ice.”

Both Reid and Grignon recommend getting your furnace inspected by a professional at least once every year.

Click to play video: 'What to do about snow and ice buildup around furnace vents' What to do about snow and ice buildup around furnace vents
What to do about snow and ice buildup around furnace vents – Jan 30, 2019

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