How to Get Your Furnace Ready for Winter

It’s time to get all your ducts in a row! No, that wasn’t a typo—we’re talking economical and energy-efficient heating. We may not be in the thick of winter just yet, but when the temperature does drop, the last thing you want is to be left without a working furnace. That’s why fall is the perfect time to start preparing your home’s heating system to ensure you get the best high-efficiency heating when you need it the most. Here are a few tips for making sure you’re getting the most out of your energy-efficient furnace this winter.

Test It Out

The best way to see how your furnace is working is a test run. Switch your system from cooling to heating and raise the thermostat a few degrees; then listen for the furnace to kick in. Listen for any abnormal sounds, like rattling or banging, that could indicate loose venting or other system problems. If you don’t hear the heating start up within a few minutes, there may be an issue with the wiring or power source. The thermostat is the command centre of any central heating system and is one of the most important elements of ensuring your furnace is working at peak efficiency. If you can identify problems early and connect with HVAC professionals to solve them, you lessen the risk of needing emergency servicing later.

Change Those Filters

To maintain the highest performance possible, you should check your filter after 30 days of use. Advice on when to change your filter can vary, from once every month to once every season, so your best bet is to use the filter itself as a gauge. If it looks dirty or clogged up with dust, it’s time to switch it out. Take advantage of summer sales before you start using your furnace regularly, and stock up on filters when they’re cheap and demand is low. You’ll want at least a half-dozen on hand over the year!

Clear the Clutter

Remove anything that you’ve stored near your furnace during the warmer months, especially anything that might be flammable or react poorly to heat. This is also a good time to make sure that your heating ducts and return vents are open and not covered with any furniture, curtains, or other household objects. Remove any covers and be prepared to give your vents a good dusting before your system goes to work.

Safety Comes First

No system is flawless, and it’s important to take all precautions. Carbon monoxide detectors are a key component of safe, economical heating, and are required by law in most provinces. If you don’t already have these in your home, we highly recommend taking the time to invest in them now. If you do have them, test and replace the batteries as necessary before you start using the furnace regularly. And remember: if you have any issues with your furnace’s performance when you test it, your safety and comfort will benefit from seeking professional maintenance and repair.

Invest in Regular Maintenance

These are some simple tips that you can follow on your own to prepare yourself for a cozy winter home. However, the best advice for any system is to pursue regular maintenance and professional cleaning. In this case, it’s wise to contact an HVAC professional to come and examine the system for any loose connectors or malfunctioning equipment. This will ensure that your system remains safe, efficient, and performing well throughout the coldest months.

Interested in upgrading to a new, energy-efficient heating system for your home before the winter arrives? Talk to the professionals at Simply Green Home Services about your options, including a system that’s tailored to your needs, a comprehensive lease-to-own program with affordable monthly payments, and tips on keeping your home as green as possible all year round.

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Dr. Andrew Bowgen Chief Risk Officer

Joining Simply Group’s executive team in 2018, Andrew Bowgen, PhD, brings an exceptionally analytical eye—he holds a PhD in Comparative Physiology from the University of Cambridge—along with years of leadership experience from some of Canada’s top financial institutions. As Simply Group’s Chief Risk Officer, Andrew has played a critical role in the company’s strategic growth by effectively identifying, evaluating, and managing risk factors and opportunities. He is also responsible for laying the groundwork for Simply Group’s strong risk management framework and cultivating a sound risk culture across the organization. Before joining Simply Group, Andrew served as Director of Risk Strategy at Flexiti Financial, where he was responsible for mitigating exposure and building an environment of risk awareness across the organization. He also previously worked as a Senior Credit Risk Manager at Scotiabank and spent five years as a Senior Credit Risk Manager overseeing risk governance at JPMorgan Chase.

Joseph Krimker Co-founder, EVP, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development

As co-founder and Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Joseph Krimker has played a critical role in building Simply Group to the entity it is today. After graduating from the Schulich School of Business in 2013, with a wealth of entrepreneurial experiences throughout his youth, Joseph joined his brother, Lawrence, to start Simply Green Home Services™. Due in part to Joseph’s incredible success in sales, the company exceeded $30 million in annual revenue in just the first three years of business. Today, Joseph is responsible for identifying new avenues of strategic growth for Simply Group, as well as maximizing the company’s operating performance.

Joseph proudly maintains a “lead by example” leadership style, while subscribing to a “servant leadership” philosophy. A true salesperson at heart, he is well known for his competitive nature, infectious positive energy, and a warm and empathetic personality. Having grown up with a single, immigrant mother in a Toronto co-operative housing complex, Joseph believes in continually giving back to the communities we operate in and conducting business with a high degree of humility and integrity.

Jerome Peeters Chief Operating Officer

Jerome Peeters is an accomplished business executive with over 22 years of Financial Industry experience leading business operations and transformation in various B2B and B2C organizations. With his entrepreneurial vision and disciplined data-driven approach, Jerome continuously propels growth and energizes organizations to drive results in changing environments. Prior to joining Simply Group in 2019, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Flexiti Financial, where he led the strategy and operational growth of the FinTech company. Jerome also previously served as Vice President of Operations and Client Services at Laurentian Bank and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience for Sears Canada. Prior to this, Jerome played a pivotal role in the growth of President’s Choice Financial as Senior Director of Marketing and Change Management for this award-winning brand.

Lawrence Krimker Chief Executive Officer

Lawrence Krimker has become one of North America’s most accomplished business leaders. As Chief Executive Officer of Simply Group, he has managed to revolutionize the residential and commercial energy sector, successfully disrupting and transforming an industry that had grown complacent. Through strategic acquisitions, innovative business tactics, and the creation of a specialty financing model that has made high-efficiency energy appliances more affordable for homeowners and businesses, Lawrence has amassed over $1.45 billion in assets for his companies and has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians reduce their carbon footprint.

Simply Group was born from Lawrence’s vision to change the way Canadians think about home comfort. In seven short years, the company, which started as Simply Green Home Services, successfully expanded into the financing and lending sector, making Simply Group one of Canada’s largest non-bank suppliers of consumer credit. Lawrence continues to push the company forward with a strong focus on innovation and an unwavering commitment to building mutually beneficial relationships with its dealer network, OEMs, and consumers. With his strong leadership, vision, and passion, Simply Group has been celebrated as being Great Place to Work-Certified™ for six years in a row.

Lawrence’s ambition, drive, and strong work ethic hail from his humble beginnings. The son of a single mother—an immigrant to Canada who relied on multiple jobs and subsidized housing to make ends meet—Lawrence grew up seeing the value of these qualities firsthand. He started his first business at only 16 years old while still in high school. He then attended the Schulich School of Business on a full scholarship and in his spare time, he launched a window-cleaning business that went on to gross $2 million in sales with over 34,000 customers, 80 employees, and operations in three locations. After profitably selling the company and graduating at the top of his class, Lawrence went on to launch Simply Green Home Services in 2013.

Raymond Tam Chief Treasury Officer

Raymond Tam is a seasoned finance professional with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, financial governance, merger and acquisition execution, and business analysis across a spectrum of businesses, including entrepreneurial start-ups, mid-sized businesses, and large established corporations. In his current role at Simply Group, Raymond manages all lender relationships, as well as overseeing the treasury and securitization functions across the organization. Before this, he headed the Merger and Acquisition team at Simply Group, where he was responsible for leading the due diligence efforts on the company’s portfolio and business acquisitions, the most recent being SNAP Financial Group and Dealnet Capital Corp.

Prior to joining Simply Group, Raymond helped to launch a private label consumer financing technology start-up; he was responsible for the development of the company’s accounting and financial operations. Raymond also spent five years as the Divisional Chief Financial Officer for Sears Financial Services, the credit card-issuing arm of Sears Canada. Raymond holds his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Schulich School of Business.