Furnace issues on the rise in Medicine Hat

By Taylor Chartrand
February 6, 2019 - 3:44pm Updated: February 6, 2019 - 7:00pm


Medicine Hat, AB - With the drastic drop in temperatures this week and the extreme cold warning still in effect, some residents of Medicine Hat and Redcliff have been dealing with their furnaces not working properly.

"It's been busy for us for sure," said Owner of Leipert Plumbing and Heating, Larry Leipert. "When temperatures plummeted like the way they did, people could certainly expect their furnaces to be giving them problems. I was out last night until after midnight doing calls so that speaks to it." 

To ensure your furnace doesn't fail you in your time of need, Leipert recommends a few things to watch out for:

  • Keep your air filter clean. It’s extremely important to ensure that you have a clean air filter installed during extreme cold weather in order prevent your furnace from working harder than it needs to.
  • The vents that are used in high efficiency furnaces lead outside of your home and are located near ground level. This leaves them vulnerable to getting clogged with ice and snow. When it’s extremely cold out, check to ensure that those vents stay clear so that your system doesn’t develop performance or safety issues.
  • Ask a neighbor to check on your house when you’re gone. If your furnace goes out during severely cold weather, it can leave your home more susceptible to other potential problems like frozen pipes. If you’re going to be away from home for a while and you know that we’re expecting colder weather than usual, have a neighbor check to make sure that your heat is working so that you can catch problems before they get worse.
  • Hold off on setting back your thermostat. Normally, it’s a great idea to lower your thermostat’s temperature setting during the hours that you’re away from home in order to conserve energy. However, this can cause more trouble than it’s worth when it’s excessively cold outside because it will be harder for your furnace to bring your home back up to your desired at-home temperature. Keep your thermostat set at a consistent setting until the weather warms back up to normal temperatures for this season.

Leipert said if you feel something is wrong with your furnace, it's best to have it looked at right away.

"A lot of times people have a feeling that it's getting cold in the house, but then they wait until after hours and that can cost them extra money. I would recommend if you think there's a problem (there's a weird sound or a weird smell), you should try and get it looked at as soon as possible." 

The local plumbing and heating expert then explained that you should have your furnace checked at least once a year before a worst-case scenario.

"If you don't, your furnace could fail and it could lead to your house freezing and your pipes bursting. I'd recommend that people have a couple electrical heaters to get them by."

Montana's set to re-open in March