Fall in Colorado is the definition of a mixed bag. One day 70 degrees, the next snowing. If you've lived here awhile, you kind of know what to expect, but for all the new homeowners in the Front Range, there are some things to consider when it comes to your home heating system (as well as electric and plumbing) as we head into this teeter-totter season. Everyone handles the changing of the season a little differently when it comes to

keeping their homes comfortable in the face of ever-changing weather. One way isn't necessarily better than the other, but here are a couple of things to consider when wide temperature variations strike.

Set it and Forget it

Almost every home these days is controlled by the thermostat. Whether yours is super basic or high tech, this thing is the climate control hub for your home. Using a programmable thermostat, you can preset the temperature at different levels throughout the day. So as long as you have it set properly in either heating or cooling modes (some will change automatically), you don't really have to worry about keeping an eye on the outside temperature. Some people forego the programmable thermostat and take the approach of setting it to a comfortable temperature and letting it go. If you do have a programmable thermostat and set the temperature back when you're asleep or not at home, be aware that hot water heating systems have a harder time "catching back up." If you experience a lag in that "catch up," consider a smaller setback temp on your programmable thermostat or just keep it at one comfortable temperature all the time. There are also some devices that can be added to hot water heat systems that may help control the temperature more comfortably.

Manually Adjust Thermostat for Fall

Whether to save money, consume less fuel, or just for personal preference, some still choose to manually adjust the thermostat when outdoor temperatures fluctuate. If manually adjusting works best for you, rather than relying on a programmable thermostat on a set schedule, then more power to you! This strategy does require a little more attention, but for most homeowners it's easy enough to know when you're getting a little too chilly and it's time to bump it up a couple degrees.

When to Expect Single Digits

Though things vary so greatly throughout the fall, there's one thing you can count on pretty consistently in the Front Range, and it's one to keep an eye out for. When we start seeing single digits, you can pretty much kiss those t-shirt and shorts days goodbye. And every year, single digits usually start popping up around mid-late November. Single digits are a good signal that winter has arrived and by then you should have done everything necessary to make sure your heating systems are working without any hitches.

Regardless of what the next few weeks bring, we've already seen snow at this point, the temperatures are starting to dip, and it's safe to say that now is a good time to start testing your home heating systems. If you can catch any issues now, you've got time to get them fixed before you and your family are facing dire circumstances and potentially frozen pipes when the weather decides to go all Jack Frost on you. We'd love to help keep your heating systems running their best so you can focus on enjoying your home in all its cozy glory.