Autumn has arrived with signs for South Otago to prepare to hunker down for cold conditions and cosy comfort in our homes.

Clutha of course is well served by stockists and tradespeople with the skills and products to keep families safe and snug for the long grey months ahead.

The workhorse technology keeping homes warm and dry is the near-ubiquitous heat pump, with its highly personalised options to suit any room.

Master electrician Corey Soper of Soper Electrical recommends the top brands for installation and longevity, with a reminder that now is the time to have a full system service for your heat pump to make sure it’s running at full efficiency when the southerlies sweep up from the pole.

‘‘A guaranteed service generally takes about an hour and is the way to get the longest service from your heat pump,’’ Corey said.

Standing by. . . Corey and the team at Soper Electrical are ready to service and install heat pumps and other winter staples.

‘‘So call and book one of our team to come and take a look. At the same time you can pick their brains about check-ups and repairs on your other appliances, and options for satellite dishes and free-to-air decoders to make sure you have plenty of indoor entertainment when it’s cold and dark outside.’’

Insulation is naturally a huge consideration for winter warmth and between the stuff in your loft and under your floorboards, the role of floor coverings is often overlooked.

Jeremy Small from Precision Flooring in Gore is passionate about natural wool carpet flooring.

‘‘While the structure of wool fibre delivers exceptional functional and technical performance, you can also be confident you are making the right choice for the delicate ecosystem of our planet,’’ Jeremy said.

No other material, natural or man-made, has the qualities and adaptability of wool.

Tougher than steel, yet finer than human hair, wool’s complex organic components create the properties which give wool its softness, toughness, sound absorption and water and temperature-regulating properties.

Awareness of wool’s superior quality and environmental sustainability have led to a resurgence of wool floor covering — good news for the rural communities making this contribution to the New Zealand economy and the most luxurious addition to the sanctuary of your lounge and bedroom.

As our clear, dry, summer fades, now is the time to imagine the soothing combination of heating technology and quality carpeting to ensure your home’s status as the place you can’t wait to get back to after long days working through the season of chill.