Companies are working hard to keep up with demand during winter season
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/07/2013 -- When Utah experiences its plummeting temperatures during winter, business for heating and plumbing officials is sure to have the opposite effect, as business spikes.
"The colder it is outside, the more it's going to run. The more it runs, the more likely it is to break down," said Mike Stischak, a service manager with Whipple Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.
For those who had their heaters die out recently, or those who had pipes freeze on them, it is all-to-obvious how busy the professionals are. The companies have been fielding calls well into the evening, with some businesses even having to work into the night to meet demand.
Stischak went on a service call in Magna at Joey Montoya's residence. The heater had not been working for nearly five days.
“It wasn't even heating the house at all," Montoya says. "Just a little bit."
Joey and his family were using a space heater and extra blankets to keep warm. The heating unit was well over 50 years old, and it began to give off a strange smell. Joey's wife was beginning to experience headaches due to the problem, and so they called the heating professionals.
"Immediately, when I walked in the door, I was kind of overwhelmed with a spent fuel smell," said Stischak. So, he took a closer look. "I saw the flames starting to roll out from under the furnace."
The professional picked up a carbon monoxide reading of 18 ppm, a dangerous level.
"Surprisingly, we didn't get sick," Montoya said.
The reason for the problem was a soot build-up that was blocking the exhaust system. That blockage had forced the flame out below the furnace. A newer model of furnace would have a safety mechanism to avoid such a problem, as it would shut down when such an occurrence transpires.
Stischak stated that the monoxide level was not something that would make a person immediately sick. Over time, however, it could take its toll.
"Ultimately, this is an older furnace that has a plugged heat exchanger and it's time for a new one," the service manager said.
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