Record low temperatures pose real problem when your heater goes out

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford broke a record for lowest temperature recorded on Valentine’s Day, with -8°, a phenomenon which led to some heating problems for some residents across the Stateline.

The record low temperatures had Andy Kaiser worried, especially when the furnace in his Loves Park home went out.

“I got a call from my wife at about 9:30 this morning, saying it was 50 degrees in the house,” said Kaiser. “My wife is eight and a half months pregnant, so I don’t want anything major…like that, right before the baby comes, to have to deal with that as well.”

Thomas Howe, owner of Allen Heating and Cooling, estimates that on an average winter day, his company receives between fifteen and twenty calls.

Today, he says they had met that threshold before 11 a.m.

“It’s mainly been emergency service,” Howe said of the day’s business. “People that have woken up or found out that their furnace is not keeping up with the cold weather this morning, so they’re calling us out to look at them.”

Howe says sometimes, a dirty air filter might be the culprit. He suggests flipping the power off, replacing the filter, and then turning it back on.

“If it [fixes it], it could have been that, and the filter was dirty. It could have been that it was just overheated because the filter was dirty. If it doesn’t want to start, then you absolutely need to call us out to have us take a look at it,” he said.

Howe says a fireplace or space heater can be used to heat your home in the meantime.

“We never recommend that you put your stove on, especially if it’s a gas stove. That’s very dangerous. So, just don’t do that,” he said.

Kaiser’s furnace was repaired in under an hour.

He said he’ll be able to stick to his plans to stay in for Valentine’s Day.

“We don’t have to go somewhere else, don’t have to pile on six or seven layers of coats or start a fire,” he said. “We should be nice and cozy this evening.”

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