Cold weather keeps heating companies busy

YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's the time of year you don't want a broken heater. HVAC businesses in the area have been swamped with service repairs. Most say they've doubled in phone calls.

One thing you can't be without during winter is heat. These days, businesses that repair furnaces have been slammed.

"It's been really busy once we got that cold streak," service technician Casey Sippola said.

Cody Wilson knows what it's like when the heater stopped working.

"I've been sitting at the breakfast table and I've heard my unit go out and had to call somebody to come fix it," Wilson said.

There are some things you can do to try to prevent heating problems. Technicians said you should have your system checked once a year. Do it before it gets too cold outside. You should also keep plants, debris and brush away from your heat pump. And, a simple change of air filters goes a long way.

"It's way cheaper to keep changing the filter than it is to have a service tech come out," Sippola said.

Heating specialists said you should change your air filters every three months.

Businesses like Central Mechanical Services has been getting around 15 to 20 calls a day once things got really cold. They usually get less than ten a day.

"It's hard," Wilson said. "It's cold, it's uncomfortable, and I have two kids and they get cranky and everybody's cold."

Something you can avoid with some simple routine maintenance. It could spare you from the cold and a hefty repair bill. Issues with your heat pump and flame sensor should be checked by a professional.