Since the start of the New Year, it’s been bone-chilling cold.

Then we had a snowstorm on Thursday with gale force winds.

Nor surprisingly, lots of Garden State homeowners are having big problems with their home heating systems.

Mike Irrapino, president of Edison Heating and Cooling, says this is good for business, with workers pulling 12 to 15-hour days.

“A lot of drains are freezing up. A lot of outdoor piping is freezing up. And a lot of general breakdowns because the equipment is running so much because it’s so cold,” he said.

“We’re finding some plugged air filters because people aren’t doing their proper maintenance.”

Bobby Ring, president and CEO of Meyer & Depew Heating and Cooling, said he’s also finding lack of maintenance is the cause of many problems.

“Folks that haven’t had their systems serviced in quite some time, aren’t paying attention to things like keeping their filters clean,” he said.

Most heating systems in New Jersey are designed to heat a house to70 degrees when it’s freezing outside. “But when we start getting down to the single digits, sometimes those systems aren’t able to keep up with the 70 degrees indoors," Ring said. "The furnace is working fine, it just can’t provide any more capacity.”

Ring said “in the 37 years I’ve been doing this, this is the longest period of consecutive days this cold that I can recall.”

He pointed out another difficulty some homeowners with high efficiency units are having is their pipes that are carrying condensation from the system outside their house are freezing, causing the units to shut off.

Ring noted it’s always better to dispose of this liquid down a drain or a sump pump pit inside the home in order to avoid this freeze-up scenario.

He added that while his repair teams are very busy, but they’re not setting any records.

“No matter how cold it gets we’re still busier when it’s really hot out,” he said.

“People can always find a way to keep themselves warm. But if you come home from work and the air conditioner is not working in the master bedroom and it’s 95 degrees and 80 percent humidity outside, people find that much more uncomfortable.”


You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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