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How to prepare your furnace for a cold winter

It’s a warm Southern Ontario fall, but with winter around the corner, you definitely want to make sure your heating system is ready. In most parts of Canada, and a good portion of the United States furnaces are still the primary source of home heating; so, here are a few tips on how to get your furnace ready for a cold winter! 


  1. When it comes to heat transfer having proper airflow is key…so change your filters, get your coils cleaned, and make sure none of your air vents are blocked.
  2. Now, if you’re looking for really clean air then you have an enormous variety of filters and air cleaning systems to choose from, but that’s a whole other article so just contact your local HVAC service provider to ask them what’s best for your particular needs (allergies, etc).
  3. Imagine calling in a heating contractor and paying them $150 just to turn your thermostat to heating…it happens more than you think, so check your t-stat and make sure it’s set right
  4. Hint: check YouTube or Google if you don’t know how to do this. 
  5. Also, when you first turn your heating system on you may smell a slight burning smell…it’s probably just the dust burning off on your heat exchanger, but if the smell persists make sure to take the necessary safety precautions.
  6. Not all homes are created equal, and older ones can have a lot of drafty areas. Look around your home for drafty areas and do your best to seal up the drafts…every little bit of heat you let out is like throwing cash in the trash. If you have broken windows or old doors; now might be the time to fix them. 
  7. As annoying as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can be with their incessant beeping, they do that for a reason; their batteries are dying, and they want you to change them. So, get off your wallet and protect yourself, your home, and your family by replacing the batteries. 
  8. Your furnace room should not have paints or chemicals stored in it, even though you might not smell them the fumes from them can damage the heat exchanger in your furnace. This can not only lead to expensive repairs but also to carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep your furnace room clean and uncluttered. 
  9. Make sure to keep notes on any issues you might have with your air conditioning or your heating system, keep all of your invoices from previous technician visits, and store all of this information near your furnace…it could save you hundreds of dollars on future repairs by helping to inform the current service technician of past problems.
  10. If you really want to make sure that your furnace will run safely and reliably throughout the winter, then you should call in a local HVAC service company to perform a pre-season inspection and maintenance.
  11. Hint: if you hire them under an annual maintenance agreement, you’ll get a better deal on the pre-season inspections and most companies offer premium service at a discounted rate if there happens to be an unscheduled breakdown.
  12. If you look at your heating system and it looks like it might fetch a pretty penny on Antique Roadshow, then it might be time to get quotes on a new furnace. Make sure to get at least three quotes; they will all be similar, but it will help you feel comfortable that you’re getting a fair deal. 



Don’t wait to use these tips, it won’t be long until the weather changes and that’s when all of the procrastinators get together and decide to call the local HVAC service company at the same time.


If you need help finding a local service company to work with feel free to reach out to us, we have thousands of strong relationships with experienced and reliable contractors that would love to help you out.


If you liked this article, let us know by sharing it. Also, check out our article on when to call a service technician.


All the best and have a warm and comfortable winter!

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