It’s about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and repairman Nick Kammerer has already gone on six calls for Thomas Plumbing and Heating. His workload has doubled since cold weather really kicked in.
“Your equipment will be working but once it starts having to work harder and longer, because of the cold weather, it tends to start going out and not putting out as much heat as it should,” said Kammerer.
NBC Montana hopped on board his repair truck for a ride along. The first step was a family’s home in Missoula’s Rattlesnake area. The house’s heater has been doing double duty during the cold snap, but now, it sputtered out. The culprit was a condensation line that filled with water, so the vents couldn’t work to push the exhaust out. Nick drained the moisture out and replaced the line.
The next stop was an apartment complex on 5th Street, to meet with a landlord about a malfunctioning heating system.
“I got a call from one of my tenants saying the heat’s out in their apartment and of course it’s the coldest day of the year when this stuff happens,” said the landlord, Fred Luety.
The problem this time was an air lock in the boiler. It was an easy fix.
“It just feels really relieving because I was not looking forward to going to work tonight and leaving my girlfriend home with no heat,” said the tenant John Lloyd.
It’s all in a day’s work for Kammerer, who says it’s a good feeling knowing that he’s helping people get their heat working.
“It’s nice knowing that people have heat. You don’t realize how much you appreciate the heat until it’s gone. It’s a good feeling knowing that people have heat, especially elderly people or people with kids,“ said Kammerer.