Cranking up the heat. HVAC technicians are working long hours this time of year, making sure you can do just that.
“We are busier than normal because everybody’s turning the heat on,” said Wyman Energy technician Kevin Beebe.
But what happens if the heat doesn’t turn on?
“Panic. Straight panic,” said homeowner Samone Jones-McCarthy of Manchester. “I’d be like, am I going to be warm today? Do I have enough socks? Blankets?”
This is a normal reaction, and one some technicians are getting as temperatures start to chill.
“When somebody is without heat, they get pretty worried. Because it’s not just that they’re cold but you could freeze your pipes. A lot worse things can happen,” said HVAC technician Austin Olzacki.
Rocco DeSimone owns Wyman Energy Services in Manchester. He says the demand is normal this time of year.
“The phone starts ringing at 7 o’clock in the morning,” DeSimone said.
DeSimone explains his company does what it can to accommodate emergencies, but preventative maintenance could take weeks to schedule. This is a combination of demand and labor shortage that he says is industry-wide.
“A lot of the smaller companies. Even the bigger companies are having problems finding the kind of help and the quality help they need,” DeSimone says.
So, as the calendar soon turns from fall to winter experts are sharing these tips.
- Keep the burner assembly clean.
- Check for leaks in pipe fittings and gaskets
- Change ducting air filters regularly.
- Have professional service annually for oil systems, and every other year for gas.
In addition to establishing peak performance, safety is another point of emphasis. To mitigate fire danger, keep the area around an oil boiler clear.
“It is hot. The smoke pipe (on oil furnace) gets to be for 500°,” said Beebe.
While rare, an unmaintained system can also leak poisonous gases into the home. For protection, Beebe recommends regular system inspection and carbon monoxide detectors.
“We usually say about every five years, change them out. They are not inexpensive, but they will save your life,” he said.