Record-shattering cold takes a toll on Colorado heating systems

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HENDERSON, Colo.  -- Repair crews work overtime, helping families turn the heat back on -- including one family in Henderson.

Experts say the only real way to make sure your heat doesn't break is to do routine maintenance--like changing your furnace filter every 90 days and doing a complete thorough cleaning every third year.

"Hey, how's it going?” asks Sid Sanchez, as he enters a home in the 9400 block of E. 106th Ave. “Freezing!” says the woman who answers the door.

Sanchez is here to repair the family’s furnace. The temperature inside reaches a low of 43 degrees.

"I am doing everything I can but moving around to stay warm," says Rae Cdebaca. She has come over to her daughter’s home to help, as her daughter and two granddaughters warm up at her home.

Cdebaca bundles up in her ski wear best.

A space heater warms up the chilly home nearly 10 degrees since the morning.

But the family is counting on Sanchez to fix the root of the problem: their furnace.

"I can see they have not had maintenance done on this furnace for quite a while," he says.

Hair and dust coat the system.

"This coil is all plugged up with hair," he says.

But it's a broken igniter giving the family the cold shoulder.

"A lack of maintenance, hair, carbon, dust built on that, and they tried to clean it and apparently, they cracked it," says Sanchez.

Cdebaca's daughter and two granddaughters spent the night with the uninvited, unwanted and uncomfortable cold.

Happy now the heat has returned.

"I am glad he was able to get here right away and take care of it," says Cdebaca.

While others wait for warmth, as temperatures inside homes rival those on the outside.

"I have about eight more calls I've got to do today," says Sanchez.