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Heating technicians work overtime as temperatures plummet

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Heating technicians are working around the clock, as temperatures across central Indiana plummet and furnaces shut down.

Turning on the heat is what Dustin Cover and his fellow technicians at Homesense Heating and Cooling do every day, and they've gotten used to being unwelcome guests. Right now, though, the tables are turned.

"Many people are actually happy to see me this time of year," Cover said.

That's because with temperatures approaching zero, the heat is a necessity.

"We have a lot of work to do," Cover said.

Over at headquarters, company co-owner Brian Schutt and his team are fielding call after call.

"A lot of Red Bull is consumed on days like this," Schutt said. "We typically see call volume go up 200, 300 percent."

Schutt says if your heater is acting up, or goes out, you're not alone if you feel lost.

"The level of understanding that most homeowners have is limited to their thermostat and their filter, and that’s not to denigrate homeowners, why would you know much more than those basic things that you interact with?" Schutt said.

He suggested that when temperatures drop below zero, you replace any dirty filters, dial down your thermostat three to five degrees to relieve pressure on your furnace, and shut vents to  unused areas, only if there are not exposed pipes in those areas.

Schutt also said you should be wary of any companies this time of year who are immediately available, as reputable firms should be incredibly busy. He also said most furnaces should be repairable, at least temporarily, so if someone says right away you must replace it, that's a red flag.

"A lot of what we try to do is kind of allay people’s concerns and make the process as painless as possible," Schutt said.

If you do have problems with your furnace and you're worried it will go out, it's better to call right away, as getting help immediately won't be easy for the time being.