By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the cold blast on the way, homeowners will want to make sure their furnaces are working properly.

Technicians are making the rounds in the Twin Cities as homeowners get their furnaces tuned up ahead of the cold blast. Hero Plumbing, Heating and Cooling says business skyrockets right before and during an extreme temperature drop.

After the cold sets in, customers are left dealing with broken furnaces and burst pipes.

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“We get extremely busy, as you can imagine,” service manager Ian Werner said. “A lot of furnaces since it’s been mild haven’t been running as much as they would have this time of season. That being said, when it gets cold the furnaces and boilers are running a lot more often.”

Werner said the easiest thing you can do immediately before a cold front is to check your furnace filter to see if it needs to be changed. A dirty filter can clog up and shut down a furnace.

Werner said most filters say to change them after a year, but he’s “never actually seen a filter that lasts a year.” Werner recommends changing out your filter anywhere from every one to six months, depending on the kind you have.

You should also have regular tune-ups to ensure everything is working properly.

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Worried about frozen pipes? Werner says you should make sure your insulation is sufficient.

“You typically see frozen pipes in older homes that haven’t had blown-in or updated insulation. They essentially have newspaper insulation when the homes were built,” he said.

You should also be having a tune-up on your furnace and air conditioner each once a year.

State Farm recommends that you insulate exposed water pipes in crawl spaces, basements, or near outside walls. You should also seal cracks and gaps that could bring in cold air.

Kate Raddatz