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As subzero temperatures continue to dump freezing rain and snow in Ontario, there is one appliance we all rely on right now: our heaters!
Whether you have a furnace, a heating boiler, a gas or wood fireplace, space heaters, a radiator system, or some other combination of heat sources, winter is definitely not the time to experience a heating outage.
Winter is also the season when home fires can reach an all-year high, and this is because of the dry air and heating elements working overtime without respite.
In this post, learn timely tips to make sure you continue to stay safe, healthy and warm as the winter season continues!
Protect Your Home from Power Surges
Sometimes it isn’t a lack of maintenance that causes your heater to stop running. Power outages are a very real threat during our volatile Canadian winters. The power can be interrupted by lightning from storms, falling trees that down power lines, heavy snowfall, severe storms, and other causes.
There are two major risks during a power surge: one is that your appliances and electronics will be destroyed and the other is that the power surge may cause a home fire.
You can protect your home and family from both risks by installing a surge protector. You can equip each outlet with its own individual surge protector or install a whole-home surge protector, or both.
Even if you choose to install a whole-home surge protector, you should still ensure major appliances and electronics also have their own dedicated surge protectors.
Invest in a Backup Generator
A backup generator used to be considered a luxury—one that very few families had. But today, use of a backup generator is becoming much more common and is viewed as more of a safety necessity than a luxury.
You can configure your backup generator according to your needs and preferences. Some generators will only operate essentials such as your heater and refrigerator. Other generators can power your entire house and premises until the power comes back on.
If you have very young, elderly, or medical equipment-dependent family members, a backup generator can literally be a lifesaver.
Vacuum Out Your Dryer and Air Ducts
Dust, lint, and debris can turn into tinder in the blink of an eye during the dry winter season. Sadly, lint caught in your dryer vents and air ducts is a major cause of preventable home fires each year.
Not only does this greatly reduce the risk of a home fire, but it also immediately boosts the purity of your indoor air, giving you greater resilience in the face of airborne germs during winter cold and flu season.
Keep Your Exhaust Vents and Air Registers Clean and Clear
Dangerous conditions can form when your exhaust vents and air registers get blocked with snow, falling debris, and other winter clutter.
Your furnace or heating system, clothes dryer, and other appliances depend on these vents to release hot air and dangerous gases safely outside. When the vents get blocked, there is nowhere else for these operational by-products to go but back inside your house.
You should do a simple visual check every week (and more frequently when there are storms) to make sure that accessible vents are free and clear from debris.
Be sure as well that your furnace filter is changed at least monthly during peak operating times (and every three months otherwise) to reduce the risk of debris getting sucked into the blower and causing a fire or a system shut-down.
Don't Wait to Have Your Furnace Maintained!
Now is an ideal time to schedule your furnace inspection and maintenance appointment. Your furnace system has been working hard for the past few months to keep you warm, and it isn't a stretch to assume certain older parts may need some lubrication, repair, or even replacement.
Other perks of scheduling your furnace inspection and maintenance in mid-winter includes increases in energy efficiency and lower energy costs for the remainder of the winter season. After all, why not schedule maintenance when you really need your furnace the most rather than waiting until the off-season!
Signing up for one of Shipton’s customized protection maintenance plans can make for an economical tune-up. You get all kinds of perks when you choose a plan, including a 20 percent discount on repairs, no diagnostic overtime charges, flat-rate pricing guarantees, and anywhere from $20 to $50 value in extra rewards each year.
Call Shipton’s in an Emergency
If you do have an emergency situation this winter, don't forget about Shipton's special 24/7 emergency repair service. We are on call for you every day and night, even on weekends and holidays.
We know that experiencing a furnace outage during the winter is a true emergency and can even be life-threatening. Give us a call at 905-549-4616 and we will dispatch one of our courteous and highly trained technicians right away to get your heater back up and running.
You Could Save Up to $3,000!
Right now and through February 28, 2018, you can save up to $3,000 on a qualifying new air conditioner and furnace combo! Give us a call or complete this simple form to claim your discount!
Do you have a friend who needs furnace maintenance or help choosing a new heating system? Earn up to $100 by referring them to Shipton’s. Give us a call at 905-549-4616 to learn more!