METHUEN, Mass. — As the temperatures dip, Tom Pricone's phone rings more and more.
Broken heating systems and frozen pipes; the complaints are always the same.
On Thursday, his company had received more than 30 calls before noon.
“Non-stop! this is what happens all day long,” he laughed as his phone rang during our interview.
Pricone, with Kannan and Pricone Heating and Plumbing, recommends keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees, even if you're not there. He says keeping the temperature constant can prevent your system from burning out. It also prevents the water inside your pipes from freezing and causing a messy, expensive problem.
“The main thing is not being thrifty with the heat, keep it up,” he said. “I got a customer that just called, she had frozen pipes last winter, same scenario happened again. Last winter it was $8,000 worth of water damage for her.”
Pricone took us to a house he's working on right now. Because it's empty, they're having to take extra precautions. Because this house doesn't have any heat, they're running a shower to keep the pipes from freezing.
They're also running a space heater to keep temperatures up and Pricone also recommends opening as many cabinets as possible.
“When you leave the cabinet doors open, we're getting the heat underneath there because it's on an outside wall and it will stop it from freezing,” he explained.
With temperatures dropping even lower over the weekend, Pricone expects even more phone calls.
Experts say the wind chill is what could make or break your pipes.
“The wind chill factor can find a pinhole and go right through that and freeze pipes,” he said.
And if you're worried about frozen pipes bursting while you're away, Pricone recommends turning your water off when you leave the house so the flooding isn't as bad.
“The main thing is not being thrifty with the heat, keep it up,” he said.
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