If you thought last winter was tough, just wait until the winter of 2015. The foreboding forecast from the latest Farmer’s Almanac predicts that the upcoming winter will be equally as bitter as the last, and possibly worse.
Not exactly the news we’re looking for. And how reliable is the Almanac really? Can one speculate solely based on the rings around the moon, sunspots, the hair on the back of a cow’s neck, and wooly caterpillars? Our last treacherous winter made believers out of many East Coasters who suffered through the multiple polar vortexes that froze a majority of the nation.
Whether you choose to put credence in these predictions or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution and do everything you can to ensure you’re heating system is winter ready. The early fall heat wave will sizzle out when you least expect it, so don’t let the cold nights take you and your family by surprise.
Consider hiring a professional to come into your home to inspect and service your heating system to make sure everything is operating properly before you begin using it. Don’t wait to schedule your appointment … qualified professionals could potentially be booked up this time of year. A standard check up will give you peace of mind that your heating system is much less likely to falter during this harsh winter. Standard inspection and maintenance normally includes:
- Changing or cleaning your filter after a thorough inspection
- Closely inspecting your home’s thermostat
- Inspecting your heating unit’s electrical controls and components
- Checking air flow
- Applying oil to the motor if necessary
There are also a wide variety of actions you can take to get prepared including:
- Be sure to remove all flammable materials stored near your furnace or hot water heater. Give it appropriate room to perform optimally.
- Improve air flow by cleaning filters yourself. Dirty filters typically reduce your air flow and your furnace’s efficiency.
- Clean away any build up sediment around the base of your water heater tank to prevent damage to the interior lining.
- Be aware when you turn your heating system on for the first time, and monitor for any unusual sounds and smells.
- If you have difficulty with your heater initially, look first for the most obvious cause and solution.
By following these helpful tips, your home can be winter ready in no time, regardless of whether the Farmer’s Almanac prediction is right! Please feel free to reach out to us anytime and leave your winter of 2015 preparation advice in the comments below!