(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A dusting of snow made its way throughout Colorado Springs on Thursday, and for many, this meant finding ways to stay warm and turning up the heat.
SOCO Heating and Cooling received several calls from people needing assistance.
“According to our folks in the office, there’s a whole lot of folks that are discovering for the very first time today that their furnace does not work this season,” said Ben Carter, Owner of SOCO Heating and Cooling.
Colorado Springs Utilities said their crew is ready 24/7 going into the winter season.
“We do certainly make sure that we have adequate crews on hand to respond,” said Natalie Eckart, Spokeswoman for Colorado Springs Utilities. “If we had a weather-driven outage event, for example, we do have crews available for us.”
When it comes to turning on your furnace, both Carter and Eckart shared precautions to take.
“This is absolutely the season that we like to be sure that folks have awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning,” stated Eckart. “That is very common if the combustion of the furnace is not working properly and that is a deadly yet colorless and odorless gas in your home.”
Carter said the first thing to do is to change the filter to make sure that good airflow is moving throughout the system. He also recommended checking the system.
“You also want to make sure that there’s efficient burning that’s happening inside of the combustion system,” said Carter. “[An] inefficiently burning system not only waste money, but it can become very dangerous in the house.”
SOCO Heating and Cooling also recommends having a professional check your heating system.
“There’s always the potential of issues, safety concerns, things like that,” said Carter. “So having them checked by a professional to make sure that you’re not going to have any safety or operational concerns for the season is always a good idea.”
Colorado Springs Utilities has several energy assistance programs to help its customers.
“There’s three programs that I would like to highlight for you,” said Eckart. “The LEAP program is a federally funded assistance program for customers who might meet those appropriate income levels.”
The LEAP program application opens online on November 1 and runs through April 30.
Another program offered is Project COPE.
“We also have a local program called Project COPE, and that is to help customers who might not meet those income guidelines of the LEAP program, but might be in an emergency sort of situation and need assistance,” said Eckart.
Click here to see if you are eligible for Project COPE.
“Third, we partner with the Energy Resource Center in a program called HEAP. That is a home efficiency assistance program,” said Eckart. “So for qualifying customers, we can work with them to actually install efficiency upgrades to their home.”
Details on the Colorado Springs Utilities assistance programs can be found online.
“So what we want our customers to know is there’s lots of programs available to help them,” said Eckhart. “They are certainly encouraged to take a look at our web page for those efficiency tips, some very easy things to do.”