by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
As the temperature drops, plenty of people have already bundled up trying to stay warm and are planning to run their heat harder than usual.
"It (the furnace) will be working all the time now beginning this afternoon, I'm sure. You know, for the next 48 hours," said Wayne Kelley, a Charlotte resident.
Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas officials said caulk and weather strip around windows and doors, check the insulation, use clean air filters, and don't set the temperature in your home higher than you really need it.
"Because when you're using more energy, just a few degrees makes a difference," said Paige Layne, with Duke Energy.
If your system breaks and you need emergency repairs, the Better Business Bureau said check the business's BBB rating.
Be suspicious if the company offers products promising to cut your bills drastically, and make sure the contractor's licensed, bonded and insured.
North Carolina also offers two kinds of licenses -- one for all heating work and one just for repairs.
"That's one of the biggest complaints we see," said Tom Bartholomy, with the BBB. "Contractors are saying, 'I'm a licensed contractor.' Well you are, but you may not be licensed to do the work that you're telling people that you're able to do."