Preparing for Winter

winter of 2015

If you thought last winter was tough, just wait until this winter. 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?

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 your heating system is winter-ready.

Check Out Your Heating System Before Winter

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 include:

  • 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 airflow
  • Applying oil to the motor if necessary

A Winter Preparation Checklist

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 an appropriate room to perform optimally.
  • Improve airflow by cleaning filters yourself. Dirty filters typically reduce your airflow 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!

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