Cold weather keeps service mechanics busy

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

ASHLAND, VA (NBC12) - With these cold temperatures, many people with power, may have still been without heat.

Heating and cooling businesses stay busy all year round with routine maintenence calls, but their call volume always goes up when the temperature drops.

When heating systems are working the hardest, that's when they're most likely to fail.

"Certainly, nine degree overnight temps, we know we are going to be busy," said president of Howell's Heating and Air Conditioning Jess Warren.

Warren was dealing with some heating issues of his own at his house in Ashland where the heat pump was icing up.

"When the temp outside gets below 32 degrees, that condensation is obviously going to freeze and therefore cause an icing problem," he said.

Normally a heat pump has a defrost cycle, but that can break, which is what happened to Jeff's.

That was just one of the emergencies his company was dealing with on this cold Saturday.

"We are running right now about 40 or 50 service calls today and who knows what that is going to bring into the weekend," he said. "We have our full crews out in fully stocked trucks."

Heating systems, just like automobiles, are more likely to break down if they sit dormant for a long period of time.

"If it's sitting idle or not running a lot then ultimately that motor is going to sit there and rust and dust and gunk up," said Warren.

These are the coldest temperatures we've seen in a while, so the emergency heating issues are not a surprise.

Warren says you can better your chances of surviving the winter without a system breakdown by following three main rules.

Number one, get routine maintence on your heating unit.

Number two, make sure to change the inside filter on a regular basis.

And three, keep the area around your outside pump clear of things like brush.

And with winter no where close to finished, we are going to see more cold days.

For more information and more good tips when it comes to your home heating system, look under All Access.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.