Winter weather has hit several states earlier than expected this week. The Northeast had its first snowfall, leading to several accidents in New Jersey and flight delays to destinations across the country.

Parts of North Carolina were also under winter advisories, keeping some students from going to school on time.

Furnace technicians are out in full force, enjoying their busiest season of the year courtesy of falling temperatures. The last couple of weeks has been an unusual time for technicians with more residents calling to have their units maintained or repaired.

Flame sensors and filters are some of the usual maintenance requests that technicians are experiencing.

Travel disruptions throughout the eastern US and even some parts of the Midwest are causing homeowners to have their furnace inspected. Many have been left without power, and others are gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The most recent snowstorm is unusual, with weather forecasters claiming the impact area was unusually large for this time of year. It is also one of the largest snowstorms to ever hit the country in November. The last time New York City experienced this level of snow in November was in 1938.

Meteorologists claim that it snowed far longer than expected, and it was only expected that two inches of snow would fall per hour for just one hour. Instead, the snowfall kept pace for over three hours, leading to 6 inches of snow in New York City and as much as 8 inches of snow in Pennsylvania.

Furnace professionals recommend the basics for all homeowners this winter season. Checking and changing a dirty filter is a must, and this can prevent debris, hair and dust from clogging up a furnace, making it work harder in the colder months. Programmable thermostats are a must-have for homeowners, with high electric bills, and registers must be open and free from all debris.

Areas around the furnace should be kept clear to allow the furnace to operate better. A clear area of at least five feet is recommended. Clutter near the furnace also poses a risk of fire, and this is one of the main reasons to keep the furnace area clear.

Furnace tune ups and regular maintenance are a good idea, especially before the colder winter air starts moving in. Courtesy Plumbing recommends a home service contract which will cover any repairs and parts. Tune ups and checkups will make sure that the unit is running optimally, saving you on energy bills and helping to prevent potential furnace failure.