The approach of winter should not fill you with undue anxiety or dread simply because of your furnace's age. If you're questioning the capacity of your unit to provide heat for your home, there are certain things you can do to give it the best chance at successfully enduring another winter. Whether you need repairs completed or just simple maintenance, don't put off anything that you might regret later.
Timing is Everything
Winter and summer are prime seasons for most HVAC companies, since their emergency calls and the premium prices they charge tend to spike during these times of year. To ensure a more timely appointment, a cheaper overall service, and a warm house in December it's important that you avoid scheduling service during these times. Not only will you have a solid idea of the state of your furnace, but you'll have far more time to complete any repair work that might not be possible or affordable immediately.
Look for service dates in late summer and early fall to find the mildest temperatures possible. Chances are the maintenance or heater repairs necessary will require that your HVAC system be shut down for the duration of the visit, so proper timing will help you avoid the discomfort of sitting in an extremely hot or cold home. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon appointments will provide the best opportunity for the work to cause as little disruption as possible.
In the event of serious repairs, make sure you're prepared to go without your HVAC until work can be completed. This may mean having alternatives on hand for heating or cooling your home in the event of unseasonable temperatures. While this is precisely why spring and autumn are the best times to schedule repairs, it's often hard to predict sudden weather changes.
Dress in light layers around the house, so that you can adjust quickly to shifts in temperatures. If you have a fireplace, keep it prepared and wood already stacked inside in case of a cold snap. If you own window AC units, make sure they're in your windows when the contractor arrives to begin work. If neither option is viable, invest in oscillating fans or space heaters as necessary to help heat or cool individual spaces within your home.
Everything breaks down eventually, but it's how you go prepare that will determine how effectively you recover. Proper planning and some foresight will go a long way toward ensuring that you have nothing to worry about when scheduling an HVAC appointment.