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Advice on home heating during freezing temperatures

An HVAC technician fixes a heater
Kindred Plumbing Truck
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 20:11:56-05

GREAT FALLS — Nobody wants a high heating bill, especially when you leave town, but John Kindred, owner of Kindred Plumbing & Heating in Great Falls, warns us against a common mistake.

“As crazy as it sounds, don’t turn your thermostat off,” he advises. “Check your filter, make sure that your filter is clean.”

He likens it to running a marathon while wearing a mask. You can do it for a while, but after enough miles you’re going to get tired. He says that checking the batteries in your thermostat, changing the filter, and stopping drafts are key things that everyone can do on their own.

There are reasons that you may want to call a plumber or HVAC specialist, though. “When you notice that your furnace or your boiler is not keeping up… as soon as you notice that it’s not keeping up that’s when you should call,” he said. “We recommend routine maintenance on your furnace and boiler. Try to get it done before it is cold though.”

Over the last weekend - when temperatures dropped to -35° across the region - they had more than 200 calls and 10 technicians on 24 hour shifts.

The recent cold is more than just annoying and expensive, it can be dangerous too. “Make sure to check in on your neighbors and family members. We get more calls than you would think where someone is just existing in the cold instead of taking the action to fix it.”