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It's been estimated that nearly 3 million furnaces will fail this winter. It is not known when the need for a repair will arise, but there are steps you can take to be prepared. Planning ahead for furnace or heater repairs can help protect seniors and the elderly from the effects of severe weather.
You can begin by visiting with neighbors and trusted building outlets to find repair services with the best reputation. If you need to extend your search, check with the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association. Their listings may help you find a qualified professional in your area.
If a repair is needed and your unit is not covered under warranty, be prepared to get several estimates for the job. Any financial savings will certainly help out seniors on a fixed budget, as long as you're still choosing a high quality repair facility.
A good time to examine your furnace is just before cold weather arrives. During the warmer months some portions of the system may be unused, and small animals may partially block the heating ducts. This is also a good time to replace filters, which can improve the efficiency of any system. Filters with a light gray coating of particles probably need to be replaced.
Check to make certain that anyone repairing your furnace or heater is licensed according to state and local regulations. They should also have liability and workers compensation insurance. This will protect you in case they are injured while working on your property.
Make sure you get a written estimate for the cost of repairs, with the charges for labor and parts itemized. Consider having your attorney examine the work order to ensure you get exactly what you need, including a proper guarantee.
After you have found reliable sources with a good reputation, place the contact data where family members or care givers can easily access them. Taking these steps now will help maintain comfort for senior citizens when unexpected furnace and heater repairs arise.