With the recent drop in temperatures, furnaces have been working overtime to try and warm homes across Moose Jaw.  

The down side to that is people maybe get a higher-than-normal power or energy bill, which isn’t what anyone wants this time of year.   

Jeremy Kerr, an Estimator with C&E Mechanical says that there are things you can do within your house to prevent heat loss and save some money in the process.  

“Most experts recommend not turning the temperature up in your home to above what you would normally keep it all, but rather running the furnace fan continuously so it’s always moving the air around, which will stop a draft feeling from entering near the windows,” says Kerr.  

“In addition, regularly changing your furnace filter and making sure it’s clean, and not blocking outlet registers. Another major thing would be to seal around doors and windows, along with winter window sealer, which is like shrink wrap for your windows,” adds Kerr 

The winter sealant and window shrink wrap can be purchased at any hardware store. Kerr recommends depending on the house, changing your furnace filter every one to three months.  

Kerr explains that a long-term fix for heat loss is re-insulating your home or adding blown-in insulation into your attic. The downside is, that will cost substantially more but will increase the longevity of your furnace.  

If you do hear your furnace kick on more frequently, there shouldn’t be a concern, as high-efficiency furnaces are designed to run throughout most of the day.  

“A properly sized furnace and if it’s -50 C outside the furnace will typically run 18-22 hours a day and that means it’s properly sized. If the furnace in –50 C only runs for 14 hours out of the day then it’s grossly oversized for every other day, which will wear out the furnace and the components within it.” 

A properly functioning furnace with a preventative maintenance schedule by the homeowner, will also cut some costs of your power or energy bill this winter.  

“Checking and changing your furnace filter, inspect the cabinet for any signs of damage or water, and inspect the drain lines on high-efficient furnaces because if they become plugged, they will stop the furnace from running.” 

Those three are the only checks recommended by the manufacturer. Kerr suggests calling a technician to further inspect your furnace or service it.  

An improperly maintained furnace could lead to Carbon Monoxide leaking into your home, so Kerr recommends having working CO detectors in your home.  

Exposure to CO may lead to confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and death. Between 2018 and 2020, an average of 1,200 CO incidents were reported annually to SaskEnergy. The Saskatchewan Coroners Service recorded 16 deaths from accidental CO poisoning between 2015 and 2019. 

The province says that in houses with fuel-burning appliances or a garage, detectors must be installed inside each sleeping room or at least 16 feet from the door to each bedroom - this allows residents to hear the alarm during the night.   

They add smoke alarms must be installed in buildings with bedrooms on every floor, between rooms, and inside each bedroom.   

Another thing to keep in mind is these cold temperatures could lead to power outages, which could lead to having no heat.  

In the event that happened, Kerr says it’s a good idea to have a first-aid kit, non-perishable food items, a radio, a flashlight, candles, and lighters and matches.  

Also, he notes that it might be a good idea if you lose power to drain the water within your house to prevent freezing, which will prevent the pipes from bursting, and not causing thousands of dollars in water damage.