The 2013-2014 winter season was a chilling reminder (pun intended) of the need for reliable home heating systems. At the time, temperatures dropped to as low as -30 degrees, with some cities like Toronto even breaking records by experiencing the coldest winter in 20 years. Fortunately, Canadians can expect a generally milder and more comfortable winter this time around, at least according to this forecast from AccuWeather’s Brett Anderson:

After a mild start to the winter, much of southern and eastern Ontario, including Windsor and the greater Toronto area will end up averaging slightly colder than normal during from January to February, but not as cold as last winter.

In terms of snowfall, despite the milder December, there will be an increased opportunity for a couple of significant snowfall events during the month with an active storm track nearby.

While it is unlikely that this season will have sustained, cold temperatures, Toronto residents should be ready for anything in case the weather suddenly turns sour. This includes ensuring that their home heating systems are in prime condition. Trusted HVAC companies in Toronto, like Laird and Son, can be counted on to undertake heating repairs and maintenance services whenever needed. The fact that most households in Ontario rely on natural gas for heating and cooking should also be taken into account. Natural gas heaters may be safe, reliable, and convenient to use, but they’re not as efficient as electric heaters.

To solve this issue, it’s important for households to invest in a heating system that best suits their needs. Most gas-fired heaters in the country are classified as ‘forced-air’ systems, which distribute hot air throughout a building or house via a network of ducts and pipes. This principle is also used in ‘hydronic’ heating systems, which use water instead of air to provide warmth. While most Toronto furnace installation companies agree that forced-air systems are generally faster to install and more affordable, hydronic systems are more efficient and can provide the household with hot water in a pinch.

That said, either system should prove useful for those long winter nights. If the piping and ductwork these systems involve are not at all to homeowners’ liking, they can opt for radiant space heaters that do not rely on a distribution system. These systems only provide warmth to a single room, which helps reduce the household’s utility bills. With these many heating options, there’s really no reason for Toronto residents to greet the 2014-2015 winter season unprepared.

(Source: The 2014-2015 AccuWeather Winter Forecast for Canada, AccuWeather, October 28, 2014)