Heating and Cooling Companies Swamped

Brandon Bigorowski's on the job for Schaaftsma Heating and Cooling. He’s servicing Anita Oomkes' furnace.

“I've been living here for about 5 years, and I haven't really had it checked. I just wanna make sure everything's good before winter gets here and things get really cold,” Oomkes said.

It turns out Oomkes made a popular decision. FOX 17 called several heating and cooling companies around our West Michigan.

They say they're swamped with calls, weeks earlier than normal. "The weather getting colder like it has. It's really gotten people to turn their systems on,” Bigorowski said.

"People were calling in this morning, and they said we're booked a couple days out,” he explained.

The calls range from a basic check-up like Oomkes’, “and we've had our fair share of no heats."

A ‘no heat’ is when homeowners adjust their thermostat, and they don't feel any heat coming from their vents.

Bigorowski says that can likely be prevented with regular furnace maintenance. After doing his checks, he finds her furnace works perfectly.

That is everything except for the filter. "That's severe. That's pretty severe. Been in there quite a while, that's really restrictive. That's really gonna cause issues,” Bigorowski said.

"You're just restricting the airflow, making the system work twice as hard,” he explained.

All of this leads to a chilly home and a higher than necessary heating bill. Bigorowski says change your filter every thirty days and leave any other work to professionals.

"Yea, the schedules are full, the phones just don't stop right now so. It's a good thing,” he said.

Here are some tips from DTE Energy on how to lower your heating bill this winter.

Before it gets too cold, seal windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping. That will block any drafts from flowing in. Cracked sealing may need a touch up.

Also, turn down your thermostat. For every degree it's lowered, you can save about three percent on your heating bill.

“DTE Energy recognizes that heating bills may present a challenge for some customers – particularly senior citizens and households with limited incomes. The company offers a number of programs to help customers manage their energy bills, and also can work with those who may need financial assistance. Customers who think they may have difficulty paying their utility bill should call DTE Energy at (800) 477-4747.”