Time to check the heating system - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Time to check the heating system

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The temperature trend chart for Albany for Wednesday morning.  The effect of the cool front can clearly be seen. The temperature trend chart for Albany for Wednesday morning. The effect of the cool front can clearly be seen.
A technician from Safe Aire Heating & Cooling checks a system to make sure that it is running properly. A technician from Safe Aire Heating & Cooling checks a system to make sure that it is running properly.
Brushes such as these have been essential tools for chimney sweeps since the 19th Century.  Chimneys usually need to be cleaned once a year. Brushes such as these have been essential tools for chimney sweeps since the 19th Century. Chimneys usually need to be cleaned once a year.
A modern thermostat has settings for both heating and cooling. A modern thermostat has settings for both heating and cooling.
A fire burns in a fireplace in a Lee County home.  In front of it are some tools used to keep the fire going. A fire burns in a fireplace in a Lee County home. In front of it are some tools used to keep the fire going.
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The Autumn wind is a pirate, goes the old poem.

This morning, that pirate came and stole our warm air.

At 5 a.m. Wednesday Albany was sitting at 71 degrees, by 9 a.m. it was 54.  And the forecast calls for temperatures to drop even further.  When it gets this cold, the best thing to do is to get to someplace warm, like in front of a roaring fire.

Leo Harrison lives in Lee County.  He said, "we love it."

But Harrison is also a chimney sweep.  This time of the year, people like him who clean and repair fireplaces get plenty of calls.

"My calls in the last two weeks have doubled up compared to the prior two weeks," he said.

The chimney sweep trade goes back nearly 200 years, but you shouldn't wait too many years to get your chimney cleaned.

"If it's a functional fireplace and you use it normal, it needs to be checked - at least checked - it might not necessarily need to be cleaned every year, but it at least needs to be checked every year," said Harrison.

A fire in your fireplace can burn as high as 450 degrees, so keeping things a safe distance away is important - especially when the fire has just been ignited.

Harrison tells us why.  "You get the poppin' and crackin' and sparks are gonna come out."

Technicians at Safe Aire Heating and Cooling have been busy too, checking heat pumps and gas furnaces.  Since furnaces are only used for heat they need some extra attention.

Matt Lane is from Safe Aire.  He tells us why, "the furnace sits for nine months and with our climate, our humid climate in South Georgia rust and corrosion can build up in the furnace and it becomes a major safety hazard."

With gas, there's something else that you should do before turning up the heat.

"Ensuring that your Carbon Monoxide detectors are up to date, checking the batteries on those," said Lane.

While getting an inspection for your system is always a good idea, these are complicated machines.  And they run - a lot.

Lane said, "that system runs up to 1800 hours a year."

So whether it's the most modern system or a part of the home that harkens back to an older and simpler time, keeping your heating system in good shape is a way to keep you warm this winter.

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