As temperatures drop during the winter, Circle Plumbing and Heating said its number of heat-related problems goes up.


Installation manager Mark Wondzell said the company gets 30 to 40 calls a day ranging from failing zone valves to broken boiler pumps.


He advises people to call a professional as soon as they notice something is wrong. Broken heating systems can lead to frozen pipes in a matter of hours when it dips below zero.


“Once a pipe splits it’s going to spray water, ruin your drywall, soak your floors,” Wondzell explained. “If drywall gets wet you can get black mold in there. At that point insurance companies get involved, restoration experts get involved,” which, he added, can be very expensive.


Wondzell recommends people insulate pipes that can be out of sight—and out of mind—like ones in crawl spaces.


“Pipes under the kitchen sink get frozen, which is a weird one. But if you think about it there’s no heat, no airflow down there,” Wondzell said.


His solution is to leave a trickle of water running from the faucet or just open your kitchen cabinets to get warmer air circulating.


Another tip: If you adjust your heat at night or while you’re at work, Wondzell says don’t turn it down more than four degrees. He also says getting a technician to do a routine check-up on your boiler or furnace before the winter season is the best way to prevent costly maintenance malfunctions.