It's the worst possible time to have your furnace breakdown, but right now, it's a cold reality for some homeowners.

Heating and cooling companies in West Michigan are working overtime, to keep up with the demand.

Tony Pandin, with Jacobson's Heating and Cooling, says with the below-average temperatures, heating equipment is working hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

13 OYS followed the technician to a home in Cascade Township. That's where the furnace stopped working Wednesday night and the house was a chilly 51-degrees when the family got up this morning.

Turns out, the problem was easy to fix; the igniter switch was bad and stopped working. It was an easy part to replace, but when temperatures get this cold, it's common to have things go wrong with your furnace.

“Equipment runs a lot more when it's this much colder outside. The extra run-time causes things to fail. It's the extra off and on. That on and off cycle of the equipment puts stress on furnaces”, Pandin said.

Besides doing preventative maintenance on the furnace every year, preferably in the fall, you can check a few things right now. Make sure your vents are clear of snow and ice. The vent will be outside on the house or up on the roof.

Also, if you're leaving your house for an extended period, don't turn your furnace down too much. Right now, if it fails, it doesn't have far to go before your pipes freeze.

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