By Dennis Seid
GUNTOWN – The cold winter blast arriving this week has some people scrambling, but not like earlier in the year when the first polar vortex slammed the country.
“I think we learned a little bit from that one,” said Jim Taylor. “This time, we’re better prepared.”
Taylor has his outside faucets covered, his propane tanks filled and plenty of water and food ready for what is anticipated to be the coldest air this fall so far.
“I don’t think it’ll get that bad, but you never know,” he said. “I’d rather be ready for it than not be.”
Temperatures are expected to swing 10 to 20 degrees or more midweek, when another polar vortex brings arctic air sweeping across the country.
“The core of the cold will shift from Montana on Monday in the Plains and upper Midwest through the middle of the week,” said AccuWeather.com meteorologist Eric Leister.
Added AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sonowski, “Freezing temperatures are possible in parts of the South and East that have not yet had such temperatures this season.”
Daniel Hines, the manager of Guntown LP, said the propane supplier has been busy answering calls in anticipation of the dropping temps, but said it’s not as hectic as the polar vortex earlier this year.
“We try to manage and work with our customers throughout the year,” Hines said. “We’ve gotten a few calls, but there’s always going to be some late ones.”
Guntown LP has a couple of tools to help its customers, including a prebooking program and a budgeting program that spreads payments throughout the year.
Propane sells for about $2.69 a gallon, and many residential propane tanks hold 100 to 250 gallons.
Hines said Guntown LP has about 20,000 customers, stretching to Myrtle, Booneville, Itawamba County, Nettleton and all points between.
“We’ve only got two trucks, but we take good care of our customers,” Hines said.
At Comfort Engineering in Tupelo, owner Bob Wiley said he hadn’t gotten too many calls to service HVAC systems and furnaces.
“The main thing is to get everything checked out before the cold hits,” he said.
A cold snap a couple of weeks ago kept him busy, so this week’s chilly blast shouldn’t catch too many people unaware or unprepared.
But like Hines at Guntown LP, Wiley said there are always a few procrastinators who will wait until its almost too late to do anything.
“Most have had their systems checked out already,” he said. “It was 37 last night, so we’ll probably get a few calls for those who might have been waiting.”
HOME WINTERIZING CHECKLIST
• Test your heating system if you haven’t already to make sure it’s working properly
• Replace the air filter
• If you have a propane furnace, top off the fuel tank
• Clear any obstacles to heating events
• Check for carbon monoxide leaks
• Check/clean fireplace/chimney before using
• Insulate exposed piping
• Cover exterior faucets
• Insulate hot water tank
• Insulate exterior outlets and switch plates
• Check weatherstripping on windows and doors; caulk windows if necessary.