Furnace technicians see increase in calls, offer tips to keep units running smoothly

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Jan. 29, 2019 at 4:57 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tuesday night, the Mid-South will feel temperatures in the low 20s and possible the upper 10s.

That means many us will rely on our furnaces to keep up warm.

WMC5 talked to a technician about how to keep your furnace running during the bitter cold.

Furnaces are keeping busy this time of year.

“When it's this cold, systems tend to run throughout the day and throughout the night,” said Rick Farrell, service manager at Choates Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing.

When your heat is working overtime, it may just be too much for the furnace.

Farrell said you should get your furnace inspected yearly.

“Gas furnaces, of course they have gas combusting in there,” Farrell said. “That creates a potential for carbon monoxide leaks. We want to make sure everything is perfectly safe. All the electrical components are factory specifications.”

Farrell said calls for furnace repairs have already gone up, and he expects more over the next day.

However, he said furnace owners can take some steps to ensure a property running furnace on their own like change the filter.

“That will make the system breathe as best as it can and keep the temperatures down in the system and have it run more efficient,” Farrell said.

Farrell also recommends a programmable or smart thermostat so when the house is empty, you can give the furnace a little bit of a break.

The ideal temperature to keep your house and your furnace comfortable while you’re away is 68 degrees.

Freezing cold weather isn’t just tough on your furnace - it’s also tough on your pipes, too.

Click here to learn more about preventing your pipes from busting.

If you use a space heater, fire officials said there are some safety precautions you should heed as well.

Space heaters cause 79 percent of fatal fires, according to officials at the Fire Museum of Memphis.

To prevent a fire, keep space heaters three feet from everything.

Turn your space heater off when you leave a room, and don’t plug space heaters into extension cords.

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