Temperatures are now declining, and the frigid winter months are approaching. And while many parts of the country are enjoying crisp autumn mornings in October, if the Farmer’s Almanac is right, about two-thirds of the nation will be in for a colder-than-average winter throughout 2013 and into 2014. Of course, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a slightly warmer-than-average winter across much of the country during this same time frame.
No matter which prediction you choose to believe, one thing is certain – winter is approaching. And research has shown that heating equipment was involved in roughly one of every seven reported home fires in 2011.
 As unpredictable as the weather is, you need to begin preparing your heating equipment and HVAC system now. Otherwise, you’re at risk for a serious fire hazard.
As temperatures get colder across the country, proper and regular maintenance of HVAC systems is critical, and One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating North NJ® is here to help! Make sure your HVAC system is prepared with the tips below.
- Schedule a maintenance check for your furnace. Homeowners should have a professional inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line for any discoloration, and leave repairs to the professionals.  Call one of our technicians today!
- If you use a kerosene heater, be sure it’s in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon build-up. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut-off in case the heater is tipped over. 
- Clean the chimney. Fireplaces, chimneys, or chimney connectors were involved in 38 percent of reported home heating fires in 2006- 2010, and failure to clean chimneys and vents was a factor in 55 percent of the home fires caused by fireplaces and chimneys. 
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in.  This also helps prevent the possibility of burning a curious child or pet.
Call one of our technicians today to schedule the maintenance check that could help you avoid any winter disasters and prevent fires.