Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 23, 2013

Cold snap brings calls about furnaces and furry friends

ASHLAND — A heating technician’s skills are a hot commodity when cold winds blow and low temperatures settle into the region during an otherwise mild winter. With forecasters calling for single-digit readouts on thermometers this week, area heating and cooling companies have been answering additional calls for help.

“We always do when it gets cold,” said Ashland Furnace Co. owner Chris Daniel, who said his staff has been busy during the relatively warm winter. Most of the calls the shop has received in recent days were from those with concerns such as “blowing cold air ... not coming on, things of that nature,” he said.

Daniel said there is one basic thing people can do to help their heating system operate efficiently, and possibly prevent more expensive problems.

“Without having to call us, they can change the filters. That’s really all they can do,” he said, explaining his staff is happy to make maintenence calls to complete tasks such as filter changes, as well as lubricating moving parts and tightening belts. “It’s always good just to have one checked out in the winter.”

Daniel said many local residents have chosen to install new heating systems, which provide more heat for less. Older furnace systems have efficiency ratings as low as 50 percent, he said, while new ultra-efficient units boast ratings at or above 90 percent. “We’ve done a lot of upgrades,” Daniel said. “With the new systems, it’ll pay for itself in a couple of winters ... sometimes one winter depending on how cold it is.”

On Main Street in Grayson, Help Air Conditioning & Heating has also been getting lots of calls in recent days, according to secretary Kara McGranahan.

“People say almost exactly the same thing every time — ‘I keep turning it up to 80 degrees and it’s still blowing cold air,’” she said. “We have had a lot of calls. A lot of them have been repair calls.”

McGranahan also advised people to check their furnace filters, explaining clogged air intakes can cause much bigger problems.

At General Heating & Cooling on Argillite Road in Flatwoods, service dispatcher Jennifer Kouns said technicians have been in serious demand during the current cold snap.

“Oh yeah, we’ve gone from three or four calls a day to seven or eight — and that is per technician,” Kouns said, explaining most of the calls are from those whose furnace is not working, or is blowing only cold air.

In addition to changing filters, Kouns advised people to check and clean their drain traps, and “occasionally” pour a small amount of bleach into those drains to prevent bacterial growth. The business has also installed many new units, she said, with customers investing in units with improved efficiency.

Veterinarian Ruth Boll at Academy Animal Hospital on Midland Trail in Cannonsburg reminded people to keep their pets and livestock warm and safe during frigid weather.

“Animals are affected by cold just the same as we are,” Boll said, citing frostbite and hypothermia among the most common results of winter exposure for people and pets alike. “Common sense goes a long way. If an animal is shivering, it is cold.”

Boll said those who own livestock should provide shelter, such as a barn or lean-to “or at least out of the wind,” as well as a constant source of water.

“They need water they can drink. When it is that cold and you put out water it freezes almost immediately and the animals could get dehydrated,” she said, advising some animal owners to invest in special water heaters designed for livestock purposes.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at

tpreston@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2651.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420singer2web.jpg Young Johnson singer strives for ‘tears of joy'

    Marlana VanHoose says she was humming “Jesus Loves Me” before she could even talk.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Second trial delay sought

    The lead attorney for Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley has requested his client’s trial date be pushed back again.

    April 20, 2014

  • Accelerating the positive

    One thing Sherry Jacobs knows about herself is she is not a quitter.

    April 20, 2014

  • Bike season in full swing

    A recent short cold spell didn’t keep kept cyclists from venturing outdoors to explore the new bike trails snaking through Greenup County.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's happening: 4/21/14

    Fan Fest, an open house at King’s Daughters Medical center’s Specialties Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Marshall Orthopaedics, will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at offices in Suite G30 of Medical Plaza B, 613 23rd St.

    April 20, 2014

  • Crime victims’ group to host conference

    Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, will have its annual memorial conference next week.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Boyd FFA to have test drive fundraiser

    The Boyd County FFA Chapter will have a test-drive fundraiser at Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Ashland from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the National FFA Organization in support of local FFA chapter leadership programs.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
     

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.
     

    April 19, 2014