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Heating and cooling companies busy fixing broken units

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Updated: 1/07 6:32 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- HVAC units are working nonstop during the severe winter weather. But many homeowners got a rude awakening when they cranked the heat up Monday night and nothing happened.

"I hope this is it. I hope tonight's the last of it. I live in Florida," said homeowner Charles Wilkes.

While many spent the day bundled up indoors, others have been busy working.

"We find people's breakers have been tripped or dirty filters or sometimes we go to a house where the unit's not even turned on," said Mike Hayes with Thigpen Heating and Cooling.

He knew as soon as the temperature dropped below freezing their phones would start ringing. Because Jacksonville's weather had been so pleasant until now, many homeowners didn't turn on their heat until last night.

"They've enjoyed having their units off, having their electric bills lower," he said.

Now, service technicians are being called to homes all over town. At one house in Fruit Cove, the unit broke last night and the homeowner said the family was forced to rely on the fireplace until the technician could get to work on it.

Hayes said a lot of local families are not maintaining their units throughout the year.

"If you have it serviced twice a year to make sure it's working property cooling or heating. Your air conditioning system works more than your car and you drive your car every day but your unit actually runs more than that so you need to have it serviced," he said.

Hayes said you also need to change the filter in your unit every time you get your electric bill -- once a month.

He said it's also helpful to buy a digital thermostat. Those are more accurate.

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