This Winter
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This Winter, Global Warming & Your HVAC

This year has been record-breaking in terms of cold temperatures and snow in most areas of the United States. It’s easy to regard global warming as an elaborate hoax cooked up by wacky scientists when you’re out shoveling snow and once you finish you can’t tell where you even started. However, these weather patterns are actually indicative of the process of global warming.

I’m not here to get political. I’m just here to provide you with some things to think about in regard to your HVAC system.

History

Chief Meteorologist for KMGH in Denver, CO, compares the weather to the NFL. He encourages us to look at the historical facts. Uncommon occurrences don’t disprove that our planet is getting warmer. The winters over the past several decades have been warmer, on average. Plants bloom faster, which encourages animals to migrate sooner. All of this historical evidence points to one indisputable fact: this brutal winter will pass, and things will get warm again—warmer and warmer.

Around the World

While the United Stats is suffering from the recent polar vortex, other parts of the world have been experiencing exceptionally warm weather. Look to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, for example. The temperatures rose into the 50s, which was not expected. In Australia, the weather has been extremely hot. The high temperatures during the Australian Open reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and caused delays in the competition.

Dec2013map

Cold Winters

Winter will still be winter, even with global warming. The Earth’s axis is tilted away from the sun in the winter, and that will ensure that we always have winter. In fact, winters in some areas will be colder because of global warming, and storms in those areas will become more intense, although spring will arrive earlier than it has in the past.  This year actually wasn’t that different than average for most parts of the US. You can tell from the chart below that this winter was extra cold in certain parts of the country, and actually warmer in others. The colder, shorter and varying winters are a sign that the entire climate is going through changes.

Temperature Chart

What it Means

Quite simply: it’s a good idea to make sure that your air conditioner is still in proper working order for spring and summer, and your furnace is working for the winter. The heat change won’t happen overnight, but we won’t be seeing an intense cool either. Your HVAC system will continue to be as important as it always has been. Plan to continue your normally scheduled maintenance on both your A/C and your furnace. Change your filters as frequently as necessary. A clean unit is one of the best ways to keep your house cool when the weather warms up.

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