Cold spell creates high heat demand - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cold spell creates high heat demand


As we know we are seeing some of the coldest conditions in years. That causes many of us to crank up the heat for a little relief. But experts say it can cause some serious problems. For one Mosinee family those problems became a reality.

Walk into Megan Klug's house in Mosinee and immediately you know something is wrong.

"I knew it was supposed to be cold but something just didn't feel right," said Klug.

She was right. During the night Klug's furnace had shut off and a door had blown open. As a result, the pipes were frozen solid.

"Having five kids in the house under the age of seven, and an infant, our first goal was making sure they kept warm," explained Klug.

With temperatures hovering around minus twenty degrees, she wasted no time calling a plumber.

"They said we could try anything from using a blow dryer to space heater," she said. And that's what she did.

"We had a space heater and put it on the pipes for about four hours," said Klug. "It's still cold in here but not as bad. The space heater really saved us."

Experts say pipes can freeze when the temperature drops suddenly. It also happens when a house is poorly insulated, or when the thermostat is set too low. Wisconsin Public Service recommends letting a small amount of water trickle out when it's so cold.

"The big thing is making sure you use the proper equipment to heat your home," said Kelly Zagrzebski, public relations for Wisconsin Public Service.

She says doing that and being prepared can pay off.

"If we start seeing a lot of blowing and drifting of snow just keep your gas meter in mind, and where your furnace or hot water heater come out, exhaust, just check those and make sure they stay clear," explained Zagrzebski.

For the Klugs it those things that got them into trouble. Something they say they'll keep in mind as this cold spell continues.

With this cold spell, another concern are heating bills. With the high demand for heat, heating bills are expected to rise. According to WPS, an average household bill could go up anywhere from 15 to 25 percent. They say this type of weather could lead to the highest heating demands in decades.

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