With the advent of winter and colder temperatures quickly approaching, inevitably many home owners will experience a broken furnace or HVAC system. Without a source of heat to provide warmth it is not only uncomfortable, but down right dangerous. Many older homes will often have more drafts and leaks than a newer home will.

As the economy and home owners continues to remain financially depressed, home owners are constantly on the lookout for the best way to stretch the U.S. dollar. For many home owners retrofitting with new types of insulation or remodeling is not a financially feasible option. Doing nothing, however, is an unwise decision.

The alternative can be a scary scenario. Every year multiple deaths are reported and attributed to freezing temperatures. When an individual succumbs to severe hypothermia, the risk of cardiac arrest is extremely high. Although this is a very sobering thought, it is none the less a real possibility.

The best defense is a good offense. Every home owner and family should be proactive with regards to the home’s heating in the winter months. Preventative maintenance is always a necessity, but nowhere is this more important than in regions which experience single digit temperatures. Having the furnace or other heating source inspected before extreme colder temperatures arrive is paramount to ensure that the HVAC system is working at an optimum level.

“Before” is the operative word. Left unchecked a furnace or heat pump, which may normally be in passable enough condition to provide protection from mildly cooler temperatures, is severely taxed when the temperature drops near the freezing point. Should the HVAC system fail in the middle of a cold spell it is quite likely that it could be at least a couple of days before it is possible for any service company to arrive. The worst case scenario is to be snowed in when the system fails. By this time it may be too late. Individuals at greatest risk of succumbing to extreme temperatures are the elderly and the young.

Because HVAC systems are not always strictly electrical, but often use re-circulated water as a heating source, many plumbing companies also specialize in heating and cooling. Finding a service company which offers a wide range of services can provide the convenience of a one-stop solution for the home owner. Some of these companies may offer reduced rates per service call when an annual service contract is set up, which can benefit both parties.

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