‘Alarming’ news may help save your furnace, water pipes

As wintertime quickly approaches, the thought of your furnace or electricity going out while you are away from your home, cabin or office would be nothing short of disastrous!

     Frozen and busted plumbing pipes can flood a home in an instant, leaving thousands of dollars in damage that otherwise could have been avoided easily.

     If you’ve ever been worried about your furnace not working when you’re away, a freeze alarm can give you peace of mind and save you countless thousands in repair damages. Here’s how it works.

     The freeze alarm has an internal thermometer that goes into action if the temperature falls below the point you at which you set it. For example: If you’re away and your furnace fails to turn on, once the temperature in the home reaches anywhere from 35 to 60 degrees (wherever you set it), the alarm goes into action by calling up to three preprogrammed telephone numbers and delivers a custom prerecorded message alerting the receiver of the call the location and the temperature status.

     This systems plugs into any standard phone jack and is powered by just a 9-volt battery for times of power outage.

     If the alarm does not reach anyone, it keeps dialing and will not reset until you turn it off remotely from any touch-tone phone. You can rest assured someone you’ve programmed on your list will be alerted to the pending disaster and handle the situation as you’ve specified.  You also can call in just to check the temperature — emergency or not — just for peace of mind. Now, that’s convenience!

     Whether you’re in Florida for the winter or just like to be prepared for any emergency that could possibly happen, a freeze alarm in your home could prevent you from a “frosty freeze” this winter season.

     Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a WJBK-TV Fox2 Detroit news contributor and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.