Residents look for ways to stay warm

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Monday proved bone chilling--and a busy day for anyone in the heating and air business.

HVAC technicians worked around the clock as residents tried to get their heaters up and running.

"If you're in an older house that has a lot of fresh air leaks, and you are getting cold air coming in from outside, they are going to run more," said HVAC technician Aubrey Newton.

The biggest problems?  Dirty filters and heat pumps stressed out by the low temperatures.

"As it goes below 30 degrees or so, the heat pump struggles to keep the temperature," Newton explained.

When you're working inside, don't forget your pets outside.  Humane workers say keeping animals warm is a necessity.

"Bring them inside. Put them in a crate.  Put them in the garage.  Put them in the back of a truck if you have to. Get them out of the elements," exclaimed Steven Tears of the Montgomery Humane Society.

Physicians are also hard at work. Doctors say above all, keep yourself warm.

Set your thermostat at a minimum of 65 degrees, dress in layers, and refrain from using space heaters without proper ventilation.

"We also have people every year who die or become ill from carbon monoxide," said Dr. Steven G. O'Mara, Jackson Hospital's Director of Emergency Services.

Don't forget to see a doctor immediately if you do show any signs of hypothermia.

"Pay attention to the signs and symptoms.  If you're shivering or becoming especially cold, you need to seek shelter," O'Mara said.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.