Maintenance musts: Mechanical room checks to thwart costly winter repair costs


Furnace Room

Mechanical room checks

Sure, winter’s an awesome time to kick up the adrenaline and hit the slopes. But sometimes after a face plant or two… there’s really nothing toastier than turning up the heat and kicking up your feet inside your cozy abode.

Here’s how to keep your homey retreat warm and hazard-free:

Prep your furnace: Don’t wait ‘till the first cold snap to find a clog or belt fray blocks you from feeling the heat after a frosty day.

Instead, get a furnace and heating specialist to check your furnace once a year (pre-winter/autumn for best timing), and during heating season choose a day once a month to head down to your mechanical room to do a little tinkering. This way you can clean or replace your filter whenever needed and make sure dust build-ups stay dormant.

Keep your water heater happy: You don’t always need a water heater professional to maintain water heater health (although when you do, you know where to find the right company for the job!). Just remember water + electricity don’t mix, so flip the appropriate breaker box before servicing:

  • Flush: Once a year, you’ll need to flush the water into your heater, this’ll help wash-out sediment build-up and preserves your heater’s lifespan.
  • Drain: If you shut your heater off during a winter vacation, don’t forget to fully drain the tank to prevent flooding while you’re away. Remember to re-fill water before powering the heater back on (we had to say it).
  • Check the pipes: Take a few minutes to inspect your pipes for damage and leaks. Leakage can really do a number on flooring and nearby walls, so replace anything you see askew ASAP.

Humidifier health: As biting winds blow, make sure your humidifier functions above board – simply because moist air retains heat better than dry air. And the warmer you feel, the less you’ll be fiddling with your thermostat dial. Yearly humidifier check-ups ensure your energy bill lingers on the low-end during winter.

AC unit: Your AC unit might have the winter off, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need protection during hiatus (which extends its life and keeps its compressor intact). If you’ve got a centralized unit, empty the pipes from your AC and use a wet vac to suck up moisture in the drain pan. Then prevent rusting with a plastic AC cover and move window units to a dry area of your home.

Electrical panel: Hanging out in the dark, in sub-zero temps can be a little creepy. Even if it’s Halloween. So before Old-Man Winter visits, check your panel for faulty breakers. Remember to power off the entire panel if you have to replace a breaker and make sure it’s exchanged with an identical current-voltage. Some breakers might be held in place by screws and others by a snap-in-style kind of lock. Unwire the old one and wire in the new breaker, then install the new one into your electrical panel. And when in doubt, please contact a licensed Calgary Electrician you can trust.



Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call Inc. Taking care of a house with three boys I always needed a good drywaller on speed dial. When I moved to Calgary I quickly discovered it was an Olympic sport to find home service businesses that provided the quality service and advice I was looking for. This experience inspired Who To Call – a website dedicated to helping Calgarians find quality home service repair companies. Sign up to post your project and find quality companies today!
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