Home heating tips during the frigid temperatures - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Home heating tips during the frigid temperatures

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(WJBK) -

The frigid temperatures can be tough on our bodies and our vehicles, but they also put our homes to the test.

"The snow fall is staying, the temperatures are dipping down and staying there, and furnaces are working harder than they have in 10 or 15 years," says Rob Johnson, a field supervisor for CMC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. He's seen the inside of many metro Detroit homes this winter.

"A lot of no heat calls, igniter failures because we're getting a lot more use out of our system right now. We're also having a lot of burst pipes," he says.

Johnson recommends getting your furnace looked at once a year. A hundred dollars or less in maintenance could save you thousands in costly emergency repairs.

"It's better to pay 60, 70 dollars to have technician come out and evaluate your system versus it fail you in the middle of the night and you have a burst pipe, or children home with no heat and it's in the negative 20s like it's going down to," Johnson says.

His words of advice:

 + Keep your furnace free of dust and debris

 + Change your filter 

 + Clean and calibrate your flame sensor

 + Let your faucets trickle could help you avoid freezing pipe issues

 + Have your sump pump serviced now to avoid problems when the temperatures spike and all the snow finally melts

"I've been doing this almost 25 years and, I can remember probably the last 10 to 15 years we haven't had this type of a winter," Johnson says.

The call volume for repair crews has almost doubled this month because of the sub-zero temperatures, so here are some things you can do to help those crews out: Clean the area around your furnace or wherever they will be working; know where your water shut off valve is and turn it off if there's a problem; and, of course, have patience.

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