Cold weather puts a stress on your furnace; businesses boom - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Cold weather puts a stress on your furnace; businesses boom

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(12/12/13) - Our recent cold snap can put a lot of stress on your furnace.

That's what one Linden man found out the hard way this week.

ABC12 News went inside that man's home and it was pretty cold in there. He's been without heat since Wednesday.

When John Maniak left his home Wednesday, he had heat inside. When he came back several hours later, "No heat," he said. "We got home maybe 10 and the temperature was maybe 50, maybe 45 degrees in the house and believe me it was chilly trying to sleep through the night, so we had the electrical blankets going."

The stress on furnaces is keeping Mid-Michigan heating and cooling companies busy.

Neil Castle, a Service Tech with Holland Heating and Cooling, says his company is averaging about 30 phone calls a day.

"Majority of it is 5, 6-year-old furnaces haven't been maintenance and 15 to 20-year-old furnaces have been repair parts," he said.

At Maniak's home, the boiler shut off. Although repair work is being done now, the homeowner doesn't want to relive another cold night like he did Wednesday.

"It's very frustrating when we walked in the door we were expecting 70 degrees and instead we got 45 degrees inside the home on one of the coldest days this winter, so that wasn't too pleasant," he said.

"We're going to go ahead and test the system out because it is water heat and we got to get all the layer out and at that point, recycle it and make sure it's heating well on all of his floors," Castle said.

What is worse than being out in the cold? How about being out and wet in the cold.

Right now, business is also booming at some Mid-Michigan car washes - which means workers are bundling up.

Those workers are having to wear several layers of clothes - everything from extra shirts to socks.

If you thought the summer was the busiest time of year for car washes, you may be wrong. The winter is actually the busiest time for places like Scrub a Dub Car Wash. They're washing about 800 cars a day.

We asked crews how they're keeping warm in this brutal weather. We caught up with one man who says he has on about five layers of clothes. That's still not enough to keep them warm.

"I have one black T-shirt on and I have my black hoodie on top of that and I have a Scrub a Dub sweater on with another Scrub a Dub T-shirt with a jacket and I got another hoodie over there, two pairs of socks," said Craig Pitts.

"I just tell them all bundle up, layer up, hats, gloves. They provide us hats and coats and I tell them layer up, double up on everything, stay as warm as we can," said Janey Freeland, a manager at Scrub a Dub.

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