What is a heating system holdout AND how do I know if I’m one?

Well, when you notice the morning frost coating blades of grass and clouding the windows of your car, do you think?

Winter is coming. I better get prepared.


Winter is coming. Let’s see how long I can go without running my heat.

A small percentage of homeowners play a dangerous game with the merciless cold temperature. They enjoy waiting as long as possible —to make it as far into the winter as they can — before turning on their heating system. They are the heating system holdouts.

Read on learn why this is an especially bad idea, and hear a safer, free alternative.

Cold Weather vs Your Heating System

For you, cold winter weather entails wearing a scarf and feeling grateful you opted to buy the heated seats for your car.

For your heating system, though, cold winter weather means four to five straight months of battle against frigid temperatures. What’s more, the first cold day is the hardest of the entire winter. That’s why 40% of all heating systems that will die, do so on the very first cold day.

When you opt out of heating system tune-up, any one of dozens of sensitive components can breakdown — from your boiler or furnace pilot light to fans and compressors.

And all it takes is one failed component to leave the entire system unresponsive. Then you and your family are left weathering the cold weather.

In short, when you wait until the outdoor temperature plunges below freezing to turn up the thermostat, the fight of your heating system’s life sneaks up on it without warning.

Heating Holdouts Worst Case Scenario

You’re really proud of yourself and the family too! At first, they grumbled and threw you dirty looks, but they came around to your money-saving mission—you’ve got good kids.  Everybody’s used to wearing hoodies all the time, and nobody even thinks about reaching for the thermostat.

Just a day or two before Christmas, it gets cold, really cold. You can’t hold out any longer. You turn the dial or tap the touch screen—either way, you kick the heat into high gear.

You wait a few minutes, but it’s still cold. Frantically, you wave your hand under the vents or over the radiator—nothing!

When you go to investigate it, kids in tow, you hear a banging noise from the furnace or you see water dripping from your boiler onto the basement floor.

So when you finally give us a call, we’re glad to help, but you might not be the first person in line. After all, we see 40% of all dead heating systems on the first really cold day. That’s a lot of people who need our help.

The few bucks you saved avoiding the thermostat in November and December quickly evaporate when you pay for the emergency heating system repair

What to Do Instead: Get Heating System Tuneup

This is our most important recommendation to homeowners. A One Hour heating system tune-up ensures that your system is equipped to make it all winter. Our technicians clean the system top-to-bottom, and remedy normal wear and tear, all while hunting for signs of a possible emergency.

If there are any components that need fixed or replaced, our technician can swap them out on the spot—long before they break.

When a One Hour tech, gives your heating system a clean bill of health, you can have 100% confidence all winter long.

Financial Aspect

We know saving money is the inspiration for most heating system holdouts.  That’s fair—after all, money doesn’t grow on trees and needs to be raked into big piles every fall.

Ultimately though, a tune-up is a smart financial decision. The price of a tune-up is about a fifth of the price of an emergency repair. In this case, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure—because the pound of cure costs a whole heck-of-a-lot more.

If you pride yourself on being a sharp shopper, you’ll want to check out our One Hour protections plans. When you’re covered by a protection plan, you’ll receive regular maintenance to prevent emergencies and you’ll enjoy financial coverage to pay for replacement if disaster does strike.

Cherry on top: Every year, we offer a tune-up special to ensure as many homeowners as possible get the heating system service they need.

What to Do Instead: Run a Test

If you really don’t want to schedule a tune-up, we can still give you some advice.

Run your heat on an average fall day. Make that your own, non-professional test.

Easing your system back to work is better than the hoping to fire it up in below-freezing temperatures.

While you won’t be able to have 100% confidence in your system, you at least won’t be going in with a total unknown.

What’s more, if your system does fail, it won’t have failed you on the busiest day of the year. You can all but guarantee you won’t need to wait for service.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Hot Springs is here to help with your heating system every step of the way:

  • If you want to schedule a preventative maintenance tune-up, we’re glad to help.
  • If you ran your own test, and your system failed, we can provide you a quick repair and help you prepare for the coming winter.
  • Finally, if your system died while the snow is failing, we’re available 24/7 for emergency repairs.

When you start to notice the tell-tale signs of winter, get prepared and do it right.

While we love energy savings at One Hour, we hope we can convince you not to be a heating system holdout. There are better and safer ways to save.

Just remember, we’re your heating system expert. Contact us to schedule an appointment or for emergency repairs.