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Residents prepare as cold snap approaches

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Updated: 11/11/2013 10:40 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Like it or not, colder temperatures are coming to north Mississippi very soon.

"Everybody is looking at that thermostat and getting ready for the cold weather to hit," resident Jean Beggs said.

That's why Beggs called a heating service repairman to get her unit checked out.

"It's always best to have your system ready to roll when that cold weather comes, so that when you flip that thermostat, you won't be disappointed," Beggs said.

Heating and air conditioning specialist Chris Allred said the Trane unit installed three months ago is working just fine. To some, that revelation might make the service call itself seem unnecessary, but Allred says it's not.

"If you've got an older system, whether it's three years old or thirty years old, you need to have it checked once a year," Allred said.

His next service call has what seems to be a bigger issue with Tupelo homeowner Candace Hunt.

"You start to turn on your heat, and when you turn on your heat, you realize that one unit isn't working properly," Hunt said.

That particular problem could get very costly, especially if the entire HVAC unit has to be replaced, but Allred quickly discovered the cause.

The gas line supplying the unit wasn't turned on.

Some may not say a heating unit that doesn't function isn't really a big deal right now. After all, even if 20-degree temperatures exist outside, it'll be warmer inside.

Hunt disagrees, though.

"I was worried about -- if you don't have heat -- possibly pipes freezing and your house getting too cold, and other things could happen ... you'd even have to call some more people to come out," Hunt said.

That's why Allred says they get tons of calls even before the cold weather arrives.

"A lot of them have been because the gas has been off or other issues like igniters burning out because they don't have standing pilot [lights] anymore," Allred said. "Some of [the problems are] fan motors and stuff like that."

How do you know if you need to make that call? Allred says if you've been running your heating systems for days and you still smell something, get it checked out.

And if it's gas you smell, turn the unit off and get out of the house immediately. Only then should you call the gas provider.

Heating experts also say that -- along with smoke detectors in the home -- carbon monoxide detectors are incredibly important to have installed, especially during the cold season.
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