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1000’s Stuck in The Cold Each Winter in Big Bear. Here’s Why & How To Avoid It

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


Big Bear, CA, is a beautiful, mountainous escape from the often hot cities of SoCal. Many people choose Big Bear as a place to raise their families, away from the hustle and bustle of San Diego and Los Angeles. 


Big Bear is a sharp contrast to the urban lifestyle of its surrounding areas. The lifestyle is slower, and the weather is vastly different. This weather includes freezing temperatures and snow, which is something every resident must be prepared for to ensure the comfort and safety of their families. However, in Big Bear, thousands of residents get stuck in the cold each winter. 

Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating has served the residents of Big Bear for generations and has observed the common reasons that lead to people being cold in their homes each winter. We will discuss some common reasons and help you prepare your home for a warm and cozy winter. 

Why Do People Get Stuck in the Cold Each Winter?

The coldest time of the year in Big Bear is December when the average temperatures range between 23°F and 44°F. It is common to find areas laden with snow and ice during this time. But despite these weather conditions, people are often underprepared because of the following problems with their heating systems: 

Old & Unreliable Heaters

As with anything in life, great things must come to an end, and that includes heaters. We often see people stuck in winter’s cold because of their old and unreliable heaters. Are you aware of your heater’s age? 


According to Energy Star, a furnace or boiler typically lasts 15-20 years, while a heat pump lasts about 10 years. Once your heating system begins to hit those numbers, it is important to consider its condition and prepare for a possible replacement. Here are some additional telltale signs that your heater is nearing the end of its lifespan: 

Frequent Repairs

As your heater works to serve your home throughout the years, it gains the typical signs of wear and tear. As a result, the number of  Big Bear furnace repairs will increase with the heater’s age. Eventually, those repairs will begin to deplete your budget. Even worse, these increased repairs will eventually leave you stuck in the cold during Big Bear’s winter.


Increased Energy Bills

Have you noticed a steady increase in your energy bills? Decreased efficiency will often present itself in older heaters. This signifies that the heater is working harder to serve your home and will eventually stop running altogether. 

Loud During Operation

Loud heaters aren’t only a nuisance and a sign of old age. As the heater ages, the blower bearings will wear out and cause a loud, high-pitch sound. You may also hear metal scraping against each other. This sound symbolizes a loose blower motor. Regardless of the sound you hear, you must have it inspected by a qualified heating repair technician, such as the one from Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating. 

Lack of Maintenance

The greatest pitfall for many homeowners in Big Bear is that they skip out on maintenance inspections of their heating systems. When you skip out on a regular maintenance inspection, you miss the opportunity to catch minor repairs that can save money and stress in the future. 


Some heating repairs are minor but grow into larger problems if they aren’t addressed on time. Coincidentally, these larger problems present themselves when the heater’s service is needed the most for our homes. Here are some benefits of a regular heating inspection in your home: 


  • Maintain the energy efficiency in your home
  • Prevent costly breakdowns and repairs
  • Prolong the lifespan of your HVAC unit
  • Maintain optimal indoor air quality in your home
  • Keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long


Annual maintenance inspections in Big Bear, CA, are recommended to ensure you don’t get stuck in the cold during the winter. 

Poor Installation

As local heating experts in Big Bear, we are frequently frustrated with the number of poorly installed heaters and air conditioners. Poor installations are usually the result of poorly trained heating technicians or homeowners deciding to do it themselves.


We often run into homes that are equipped with incorrectly sized units. The size of the unit must match the size of your home and it’s needs. The home will not be adequately heated if the heater isn’t large enough to accommodate the space. Calculator Academy provides a calculator that will help you understand the size of the heater required for your home.  


Sometimes, a unit isn’t properly calibrated and commissioned to produce the appropriate pressure levels that the manufacturer specifies. When this isn’t done, the heater will not run very well. This poor function will lead to early and excessive repairs and a shortened lifespan of your heater. 

How To Avoid It

Many people get stuck in the cold each winter season in Big Bear, but the good news is that there are many ways in which you can avoid this fate. As heating repair technicians of Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating, we have seen every type of heating repair over our long years of service. As a result, we will provide our top expert advice that will ensure a warm and safe atmosphere in your home this winter season. 

Annual Maintenance

First, an annual maintenance inspection of your heating and air conditioning system must be prioritized. During the inspection, your heating repair technician will check the condition of the following elements of your heater: 


  • Pipe and chimney to ensure proper working order
  • Heat exchanger to ensure there are no cracks and leaks
  • Clean or change air filters
  • Adjust the controllers for comfort and efficiency
  • Conduct a combustion-efficiency test
  • Conduct a test for possible carbon-monoxide leaks, and provide repairs if necessary
  • Clean the blower motor and adjust its control 
  • Seal any air leaks
  • Adjust fuel and flame characteristics


The purpose of an annual maintenance visit from your local repair tech is to ensure that your heating system is working properly and safely. They will ensure that your unit and its components are clean and in optimal condition. The actions taken during the annual inspection will ensure that you aren’t part of the thousands of people stuck in the cold during winter months. Learn more about the importance of heating maintenance inspections from Energy Saver

Properly Installed Systems

A new heating system isn’t useful to you if installed incorrectly. The first way to avoid this issue is not to attempt the installation yourself. As heating experts with decades of experience, we testify that heating installation projects are not a simple process on your own. 


A heating installation professional typically has years of training and experience to provide safe and lasting HVAC installation. They will be able to select the appropriately sized unit for your home’s needs and preferences. 


To ensure that your heating system won’t keep you stuck in the cold during the winter months, it is essential that certain components of the system are calibrated and tested before the repairman’s departure. It is also important that the heating system has appropriate air pressure levels and refrigerant fluids. The Heating technician has to ensure that all air ducts are sealed appropriately and aren’t leaking any air. Doing so will ensure an efficiently working heating system.


Clearly, heating unit installation involves many moving parts that only a professional will be trained to complete. Do not allow anyone untrained, including yourself, to do the installation for you. Always ensure that the tech has an active license, liability insurance, and a long record of positive references. 

Quality Equipment

When a heating system is installed with quality equipment, you will have a warm and comfortable winter. This equipment includes the ductwork, insulation, and a quality thermostat. If any of these parts of the equipment are not working properly, they will adversely affect the health and overall function of the unit. 


Ductwork is essential for distributing the air throughout the home evenly. If the ductwork is old with cracks, it will leak air and cause the HVAC unit to work harder. This increased load on the system will wear it out faster and cause it to break down. 


A newly installed heating system won’t work as well if it doesn’t have good insulation to go with it. The quality of your home’s insulation plays a great role in the efficiency of your heater and your home’s temperatures. There are times when insulation simply needs replacement or minor repair to ensure that your home is comfortable. Check out Energy Star for a quick guide on the importance of insulation in your home. 

Quality Thermostat

A good thermostat will make a difference in how your HVAC will work. The thermostat must be set to the correct temperature for efficient heating. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat that only pumps heat into your home when people are present. Energy Saver provides detailed information on the benefits of thermostats that will help maintain good energy efficiency levels and low bills. 


Prepare Your Home For The Winter Today!

As long-time heating repair techs in Big Bear, we understand the importance of having a fully functioning heater throughout the cold winter months. Our technicians are available 24 hours a to provide the emergency services your home requires. 

However, to ensure you aren’t stuck in the cold this winter season, we recommend a thorough maintenance inspection of your heater. This inspection will safeguard your heater from future breakdowns and ensure its optimal efficiency. Contact Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating today to schedule your maintenance or repair services at (909) 328-6295.


Related Content: 10 Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair in Big Bear, CA

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.

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