Turn up the heat. HVAC technicians work long hours this time of year, making sure you can get it done.
“We’re busier than usual because everyone is turning on the heat,” said Kevin Beebe, technician at Wyman Energy.
But what if the heater doesn’t turn on?
“Panic. Direct panic,” said Manchester owner Samone Jones-McCarthy. “I’d be like, am I getting warm today? Do I have enough socks? Blankets?”
This is a normal reaction, and the one some technicians get when temperatures start to cool.
“When someone is without heat, they get pretty worried. Because not only are they cold but you could freeze your pipes. Much worse things can happen, ”said Austin Olzacki, HVAC technician.
Rocco DeSimone owns Wyman Energy Services in Manchester. He says demand is normal at this time of year.
“The phone starts ringing at 7 am,” DeSimone said.
DeSimone explains that his company is doing what it can to deal with emergencies, but preventive maintenance can take weeks to plan. It’s a combination of demand and labor shortage that he says is industry-wide.
“Lots of small businesses. Even the largest companies struggle to find the kind of help and the quality help they need, ”says DeSimone.
So, as the calendar soon switches from fall to winter, experts are sharing these tips.
- Keep the burner assembly clean.
- Check for leaks in pipe fittings and gaskets
- Regularly change the air filters in the ducts.
- Obtain professional service every year for oil-fired systems and every two years for gas.
In addition to establishing peak performance, safety is another important point. To reduce the risk of fire, keep the area around an oil furnace clear.
“It’s hot. The flue pipe (on the oil furnace) must be at 500 °,” Beebe said.
Although rare, an unmaintained system can also release toxic gases into the home. For protection, Beebe recommends regular inspection of the carbon monoxide system and detectors.
“We usually say every five years or so, change them. They are not cheap, but they will save your life, ”he said.