Home furnaces in need of care

"…furnaces and other natural gas appliances require regular servicing to operate safely, efficiently and trouble-free."

In winter

Many people rely on their natural gas furnace, boiler or fireplace to keep them warm all winter.

So it’s important for them to be aware that all natural gas appliances need to be serviced each year by a qualified natural gas contractor.

“Too few furnaces get attention until they malfunction, likely at the worst possible time—during the winter heating rush when the temperature drops and contractors’ time is at a premium,” said Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager at FortisBC.

“This can add up to a big expense or worse, create an unsafe situation for the home’s occupants.”

Regular maintenance is key to keeping people safe and warm all winter.

An appliance service will help maintain healthy air quality by preventing appliances from creating carbon monoxide.

Servicing will also help appliances last longer and can determine if a furnace is running at its optimal efficiency to help save on heating costs.

“Like a car, furnaces and other natural gas appliances require regular servicing to operate safely, efficiently and trouble-free,” said Turnbull. “Most manufacturers recommend an annual service and may even require it to maintain the warranty.”

The annual service should be done by a natural gas contractor who is licensed by the BC Safety Authority. They’ll follow the BC Safety Authority’s Service Checklist which includes inspecting the system for leaks and proper venting, making sure the area is clear of fire-hazards and cleaning or repairing components.

A licenced contractor can also identify if an appliance needs to be replaced before an emergency occurs and will install the new unit safely with all the appropriate permits in place.

Through its Trade Ally Network, FortisBC maintains a comprehensive, searchable directory of qualified natural gas contractors at fortisbc.com/appliancesafety. There are also incentives for energy-efficient appliance upgrades.