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The Berkshires

Returning heat to a freezing home

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Albany/HV: Returning heat to a freezing home
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If you've thought about turning up that thermostat on nights like these, you're not alone. But what happens if you adjust the dial and nothing works? Our Erin Vannella went out with the service technicians responsible for fixing heaters and furnaces and filed this report.

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- "I woke up at about 5:30 this morning and just noticed that the upstairs was very cold," said Rotterdam Junction resident Keith Muse.

No heat and six degrees sends Keith Muse calling for help.

"We all sleep upstairs, so it wasn't so miserable this morning, but I can imagine that the heat being off up there all day today that tonight would be pretty miserable if we didn't have heat," said Muse.

So at the end of his work day, the work begins for Family Danz service technician Jim VanEps.

"I know my pump is turning, so I just went upstairs and scoped out the house and it turns out the pipes in that zone are frozen," said VanEps.

It's the third freeze VanEps has had to thaw today, an unfortunately common problem he says when temperatures drop so low.

"With the fuel prices people tend to turn the heat back a little bit, maybe too much," said VanEps. "Really when it's cold and windy, probably the best thing is just to turn the thermostat up a little bit. It's cheaper to pay for a little fuel than it is a repair."

But in this case it's nothing a hair dryer and space heater can't fix. VanEps identifies the frozen pipe and warms it until it melts much to the relief of Muse and his little boy.

"Thankfully the pipes didn't burst and it wasn't all icicles and on the floor and in the rooms so it seems like everything is okay, which is good," said Muse.

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