The owner of a local heating and air conditioning company tells ABC-7 his company is backed up for weeks and does not have any openings for the next two weeks.
“Normally, we’re not slammed with this many service calls for cold weather and heater services and heater repairs until late November or early December,” said Brandon Brooks, owner Total Air. Brooks told ABC-7 he can’t remember ever being this backed up in October.
The city of El Paso has already experienced several cold, cloudy and rainy days, with temperatures colder than some winters – and it’s barely October. The Climate Prediction Center says it’s going to be a colder winter than usual for the Borderland.
So with the cold weather, a lot of residents are switching from air conditioning to heaters. There are some important steps that need to be taken to make sure you do before firing up the furnace.
First, it’s important to get your furnace inspected.
“Any fuel burning equipment needs to be thoroughly checked and maintained,” Brooks said, “Needs to make sure the vent is not blocked. Need to test for carbon monoxide. Need to make sure nothing strange is happening with the fire while it’s burning…make sure all the safety devices and switches in the furnace are operating properly.”
And he recommends home owners perform a furnace inspection and carbon monoxide check at least once a year. Also, he says having carbon monoxide detectors are important to keeping you safe from the silent killer.
Second, make sure to change your air filter. A Total Air employee told me if you don’t change your filter every one to three months, it can cause your furnace to overheat. It can also block airflow, keeping it from heating your home.
Third, check your insulation. Make sure your home is sealed off and insulated well. If it’s not insulated well, heat can escape and cold air can sneak in in its place.
Fourth, make sure you don’t store anything in the furnace area. Doing so can make for a very unsafe operation environment for the furnace.
And if you have to wait for Total Air or another heating and air to make it out to you, Brooks also had some ideas to keep you warm while you wait.
“If you are unable to get your furnace turned on or if there’s a long wait to get your furnace turned on, my best advice at this time is is to maybe use some space heaters as you need them…and then bundle up with blankets,” Brooks said.