We all know what’s coming — chilly weather. And in our business, that means it’s time to prepare ourselves, AND our customers, by making sure that furnace systems are safe and ready to go.

Remember, it’s not just a comfort issue. Every year we hear on the news about fires that start because heating equipment is not operating properly. These tragedies are heartbreaking, and preventable.

We came across this great story from business coach Frank Besedjnak, and wanted to share it here:

For the first time since last winter, I turned my furnace on. As expected I was able to enjoy the smell of fried dust as the burners burnt away all of the dust and any other debris that may have accumulated on the burners over the summer.

Over the next week or so, I will call my local HVAC company over to check out my system, just to make sure I don’t have some problem that would cause me to lose heat in the middle of the coldest night in the winter. Also, since I have gas furnaces and a gas water heater, I also want to make sure they are all venting and operating correctly so I will not have any possible venting of combustion gasses into my home, simply because I have enough issues remembering things and additional brain damage would not be good for me right now, neither would be death.

It’s usually around this time of year when you start hearing about house fires and other crazy things happening when people start getting cold. As it gets colder we’ll start hearing more news about families and individuals who have died from CO poisoning or a fire as a result of some heating appliance.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. However you need to remind your customers about the potential dangers of poorly maintained equipment. As I recommend in my workshops, building relationships with your customers by constantly communicating with them and advising them of maintenance needs and “Tuneups” is what a good friend does. So be a good friend, remind your customers about the potential heating problems and why it is important to be proactive.