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Heating Repair Calls Spike During Subzero Snap

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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COLD WEATHER: Winter Weather Resources | Viewer Gallery | Weather Center | Send Your Photos

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Monday’s frigid temperatures are creating extra work for heating repair companies.

CenterPoint Energy has tripled its staff since Sunday and technicians are working around the clock. CenterPoint spokeswoman Becca Virden said the company has received 800 service calls since Sunday, and crews are expecting more than a thousand more by the day’s end.

Smaller heating repair companies are also seeing a big boost in business. Seth Roe of Standard Heating and Air Conditioning was called to Denise Day’s St. Paul home for a furnace repair. She woke up to a freezing cold home and a furnace that wouldn’t turn on.

“One of my main concerns is that my pipes would freeze. I don’t want that. That’s a problem, especially in an old house like this,” Day said.

Roe said his work load doubles when temperatures plummet. Furnaces are running longer and more often in the cold weather. Some of the common problems he sees are component failure in the furnace, corroded sensors and burned-out motors.

For many customers, prevention and upkeep are the best way to maintain a functioning furnace in cold weather.

“Everybody should make sure they have a clean filter in their appliance. If they have a high efficiency furnace, especially, (with) the PVC pipes that go outside, make sure there’s no ice and snow around them. That’s an easy fix for a homeowner and we can get to someone else that needs our services,” Roe said.

Furnaces that aren’t working properly also pose a safety risk. It can lead to carbon monoxide buildup in the home. Roe said it’s an important reminder to have a working carbon monoxide detector in the home.

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