Cold temperatures keeping heating repair companies busy


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SALT LAKE CITY — With temperatures expected to drop into the single digits this week, many are cranking up the heat, and their home furnaces are working harder than ever.

But it's not only the furnace working overtime, it's also repair companies working around the clock.

Throughout the Salt Lake Valley, snow-covered rooftops, icicles and a slight breeze have all the makings of a winter wonderland.

A few days ago, children everywhere anxiously awaited a visit from Santa. Now, their parents anxiously await a different kind of visit.

"My name is Cleigh and I'm here to help you with your furnace today," said Cleigh Thomas with Same Day Heating and Air as he knocked on the door of his next appointment.

This house call doesn't involve any presents, but homeowner Celeste Royal is happy to see him.

"It started slowing down," Royal said. "The highest it would go was dropping lower and lower."

Two weeks ago, her furnace stopped working. The temperature inside her home dipped dramatically, much too cold for her and her cat.

"I made multiple calls, and the first couple of places said, 'We are so busy, we can't get to you until the second week in January,' " Royal said.

She called five companies before finally finding Thomas. He's no Santa Claus, but he worked just as hard on Christmas and every day since.

"I've run between 50 and 70 calls over a three-day period," Thomas said.

That's nearly double his normal load, and he's not alone.

"The mom-and-pop to the big companies are all struggling to keep up with call volumes," Thomas said.

It's making his arrival that much more joyous at each home he visits.

"They are very happy (to see me)," Thomas said with a laugh. "I've had customer hugs. I've been eating a lot of cookies and brownies."

To keep the family warm this winter, heating experts suggest regular tune-ups to the furnace at least once per year. Also, inspect and change filters often. Dirty filters can lead to much bigger problems.

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Ashley Kewish

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