COVID-19 restrictions lead to ‘stressful’ delays for people with furnace problems

Dmitri Bakanov was in a race against the weather Monday, as he worked on an unexpected furnace repair job at a client’s home in northwest Calgary.

“It’s a no-heat situation, an emergency,” Bakanov said. “They have been in a motel for a couple of days.”

The repair comes as Bakanov, the owner of Heatmaster Services, faces unusual obstacles: shortages of furnaces and parts, a situation brought on by COVID-19 distancing restrictions at factories in the U.S.

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“They used to work shoulder-to-shoulder, but now due to the COVID, they have to work six-feet apart, so that put a pause on everything.

“I’ve been in this industry well over 16 years and this is the first time we are enduring a shortage of so much product. It’s stressful.”

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It’s also tough for a Calgary man who finds himself waiting for a new furnace, after an inspection showed he needs one, a job that’s scheduled for later this week.

“I’ve got two fireplaces, so I can use those and I’ve got some space heaters, but it will be pretty nerve-wracking until the new furnace gets put in,” Todd White said.

“It’s a little frustrating but considering what we’re going through right now, I’m at least happy that I can get something.”

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The delays may go on for a while, as furnace factories try to find ways to speed up production.

“Now they’re coming back, but there’s such a big demand, they’re not keeping up,” Bakanov said.

Facing many calls from customers with no heat, Bakanov said he’s doing his best to help them.

“We’ll put space heaters around the house to keep them warm for a week or two,” Bakanov said.

“Whatever it may be until we get something more solid and get (the job done) and keep our customers warm during these cold times in Calgary.”


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