Lethbridge furnace techs busy as wintry weather returns


Along with recent snow, colder temperatures have arrived in southern Alberta, and the wintry weather kept staff at 4 Seasons Home Comfort in Lethbridge busy with furnace repairs Monday.

“Our first call came in this morning at 4:30 and it’s been pretty constant since,” said Richard Altvater, 4 Seasons Home Comfort owner.

“We find that most customers don’t start testing their heating equipment until they actually have the demand for it, and of course, once you have the demand for it is when you need it, rather than actually testing it out beforehand.”

As furnaces begin to run throughout the day, technicians say the best thing to do is to change out the filter.

“People might go six months, a year, two years or may not even know they have a furnace filter,” Altvater said.

“Our techs say it’s one of the top problems they see and we recommend changing the filter when you first start up your furnace in the fall.”

With energy prices rising, Altvater says there’s a variety of options homeowners can take to help stay warm and not break the bank.

“I’d say those programmable thermostats, those are great,” he said.

“Some of the new Wi-Fi thermostats allow geo-fencing so that they don’t start to bring the house up to temperature until you start getting closer to your home, both of those can help save money.”

Altvater says getting creative to stay warm is another option.

“Use a fireplace in your main room,” Altvater said.

“Typically, you want your main room a little bit warmer than you do the rest of the house. We normally sleep in cooler bedrooms. So if you run your fireplace a little bit warmer and keep the rest of the house a little bit cooler, that’s another great way to save some energy.”

And, with your furnace running less, that also helps the environment.

“Most people in Lethbridge are going to be heating with, probably, natural gas,” said Kathleen Sheppard, executive director of Environment Lethbridge.

“So, the more you can reduce your furnace use during the day, the less natural gas you’re burning and the better it is for the environment.”

But, for those not in the market to purchase a new furnace, Sheppard says ensuring your home is tightly sealed can play a big factor in keeping the heat inside.

“Making sure all those leaks around your doors and around your windows are nice and tight and even more basic than that, we’ve been so lucky and have had some really great weather this fall, so make sure all your windows are nice and tightly closed if you had them open last week,” Sheppard said.

“I always recommend weather stripping along your doors and windows to help keep the cool air out and warm air in.”