How to Save Money on Furnace Repairs: Maintenance Tips & Rebates

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Article Contents
Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on May 29, 2024

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated May 29, 2024

Visit author page

5 minute read

Article Contents

Keeping your furnace in good condition can be difficult and expensive, especially as home insurance policies usually don’t cover wear and tear. That said, homeowners can ease the financial burden by maintaining their heating systems and taking advantage of a wide range of rebates.

Furnace & Home Insurance at a Glance

  • Homeowners’ insurance doesn’t include furnace repair or maintenance, but it may cover damages to your heating system in the event of an insured peril.
  • Regularly maintaining your furnace can help you save on costly repairs and replacements.
  • Several federal, provincial, and municipal programs provide financial incentives and rebates for energy-efficient home heating systems.

Keep reading to learn more about when furnaces may be eligible for insurance claims, how to maintain your furnace and, if you want to upgrade your system, what incentives are available to you.

Are Furnaces Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?

Your insurance policy may pay for the cost of replacing or repairing your furnace if the cause of the damage is also covered. This could include fire, flood/water damage, and/or theft, depending on the terms of your insurance. 

However, home insurance typically excludes maintenance and repairs due to wear and tear. Instead of furnace insurance, some manufacturers may offer a service warranty on rented furnaces ranging from $15-20/month.

Understanding Home Furnaces in Canada

More than half of Canadian homes are primarily heated by forced air furnaces, which use fans to blow heated air throughout the house. Furnaces can vary based on:

  • Fuel type: Furnaces can be powered by oil, propane, electricity, or natural gas. 
  • Equipment cost: Furnace replacement can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000. This usually includes the removal of your old system and the installation of your new one.
  • Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating: The AFUE rating tells you how much fuel is converted into heat versus how much is wasted. The higher the number, the more efficient the furnace.
  • Operational costs: While natural gas is generally the most affordable fuel type, operational costs can significantly differ across provinces. For example, natural gas is an extremely common (and therefore cheap) heat source in Alberta and Ontario, while oil, wood, and electricity are popular in the Atlantic provinces (e.g., Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).
Type of FurnaceAverage CostAverage AFUEOperational Costs
Natural gas$5,000 – $7,00095-98%Most affordable
Propane$5,000 – $7,00080-94%Affordable
Oil$3,00080-90%Most expensive
Electric$1,000 – $3,000100%Expensive

Diagnosing an Issue with Your Furnace

Pay attention to the aspects outlined in the below infographic when diagnosing an issue in your furnace.

Furnace steps to diagnose and potentially fix an issue

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Furnaces

Regular maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs that aren’t covered by insurance. Below are some of our top tips for keeping your furnace in tip-top shape:

  • Before you even consider replacing your furnace, make sure you check the thermostat, air filter, drain, circuit breaker, and pilot light. Most issues with these parts can be fixed on your own or by an HVAC professional.
  • Use a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of your home according to your needs and preferences. For example, you can set a timer on the heat or turn it off completely when no one’s home.
  • Every 3-4 months (less if you have allergies), change the air filter. This prevents dust and other debris from blocking the airflow.
  • Make sure vents and ducts are free of obstructions, dust, and mould. Thoroughly clean and air them out at least once a year.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and clear of debris. Store cleaning products, paint, and other chemicals far away from the air intakes.
  • Listen for unusual or strange noises, such as scraping, slapping, grinding, banging, or screeching. These warn you of existing and potential problems.
  • Address any water or gas leaks near your furnace ASAP. If you smell sulphur or rotting eggs, immediately evacuate and call a professional.
  • If you use a natural gas furnace, test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Replace its batteries every six months.
  • Schedule professional maintenance twice a year to catch issues before they snowball into something serious.

Why You Should Replace/Upgrade Your Furnace

If your furnace is more than 15 years old, requires frequent repairs, or heats your home inconsistently, it might be time to replace it. Homeowners who upgrade their heating systems benefit in many ways:


There are a variety of national and local programs that make it easier for homeowners to switch to more energy-efficient heating solutions.

Lower insurance premiums:

Premiums are priced based on the risk of insuring you. Some heating systems, especially older ones, are more prone to issues. As the likelihood of claims increases, so do your premiums.

Cheaper utilities:

A new furnace doesn’t have to work harder to heat your home, resulting in lower energy bills.


Modern furnaces with energy-saving features burn less fuel, produce less waste, and can even run on renewable energy sources like solar.

Increased home value:

New HVAC systems make your property much more desirable to potential buyers.

Comfort & safety:

At best, an old furnace will heat your home unevenly or cause some allergies. At worst, it could leave you vulnerable to gas leaks and fire. Replacing your heating system provides much more peace of mind.

When to Upgrade Your Furnace

The below infographic showcases the signs you need to pay attention to in order to determine if it’s time to replace your furnace.

Signs its time to upgrade your furnace

Rebates and Incentives for Energy-Efficient Heating Systems

To encourage Canadians to transition to greener energy solutions, the government offers a wide range of incentives, tax credits, and rebates to homeowners who upgrade their furnaces.


Furnaces are not eligible for rebates under the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, except for homes in select off-grid/Northern areas. Its programs include:

Canada Greener
Homes Grant
Up to $5,000 for
retrofits to $600
for evaluations
Closed to new
Oil to Heat Pump
Affordability Program
Up to $10,000 across
Canada Additional
$5,000 in eligible
(median or less income)
Canada Greener
Homes Loan
$5,000 – $40,000Interest-free loans
repayable up to 10 years


Clean Energy
Program (CEIP)
Up to 100%
of project costs
Repayable up to
20 years through
property tax bill
Banff Residential
$500 Available for high-efficiency
ENERGY STAR-certified

British Columbia

CleanBC Better
Homes and
Renovation Rebate
Up to $6,000
Variable top-ups
per municipality
Rebates for natural
gas furnaces no
longer available
Tax Credits
Up to $600 or
30% of project
Available for ENERGY
STAR-certified furnaces
with AFUE > 97%


Efficiency Manitoba provides financial assistance to help Manitobans afford energy-efficient upgrades. Its programs include:

Energy Efficiency
Assistance Program
$9.50/month to
replace a standard
efficiency furnace;
$25/month to replace
a mid-efficiency furnace
Available to homeowners
and renters with limited
income. Payable in five
Metis Energy
Efficiency program
Free upgrade
to mid- or high
efficiency furnace
Available to homeowners
and tenants in Red River

Newfoundland and Labrador

Oil to Electric
Incentive Program
Up to $10,000
for electric furnaces
Varies based
on income

Nova Scotia

Free evaluations
and energy-efficient
home upgrades
Available to income
-qualified households 


Home Efficiency
Rebate Plus (HER+)
Up to $6,500 for
space/water heating.
Up to $600 for evaluations
Closed to
new applicants
Clean Home
Heating Initiative
Up to $4,500Closed to new
Ontario Renovates
Up to $25,000
(varies by city/municipality)
Interest-free/forgivable loans for energy, safety, and accessibility upgrades
Home Energy
Loan Program
Up to $125,000Low/no-interest
loans. Repayable
up to 20 years
Ottawa Loan
Up to $125,000
or 10% of home value.
Additional $2,000
for heat pump
Low-interest loans.
Repayable up to
20 years

Prince Edward Island

Energy Efficient
Equipment Rebates
Up to $3,500Varies based
on furnace type
and income
Residential Home
Heating Loan
Up to $30,000Interest-free loan.
Repayable up to
10 years


Chauffez vert
Up to $1,275Varies based on
the type of home
and original fuel type


Residential Rebates
Up to $650Varies based
Home Renovation
Tax Credit
Up to $2,100Available for eligible
home renovation expenses

Key Advice From MyChoice

Now that we’ve learned more about how furnaces affect your home insurance, here are some top tips to follow:

  • Furnace repairs aren’t covered by most home insurance policies unless the damage is caused by an insured event, such as flood, fire, or robbery.
  • You can prevent costly repairs by regularly checking on your furnace, investing in smart heating controls, and keeping both the heating system and the area/s around it clean.
  • Replacing old units with modern high-efficiency models could reduce the costs of insurance and energy while improving property value, air quality, and safety.
  • Homeowners can save money when they switch from traditional furnaces to more energy-saving solutions (e.g., heat pumps, electric furnaces, etc.), thanks to rebates and other financial incentives from the Canadian and local governments.

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