So the end of January showed us its winter furry with sustained temperatures that remained below zero for more than 24 hours. Not only was it cold but the wind also became strong enough that it was literally dangerous to go outside more than a few minutes. These conditions really made our phones ring and the most common service request stated that there was a problem with the furnace keeping up or maintaining temperature. Furnaces are not sized for these extreme conditions for efficiency and comfort reasons but you can do the following to help should the “Polar Vortex” strike again.
- Keep a clean air filter installed. Your furnace works as hard as it can during extreme cold weather, so it’s important to do everything you can to give it a helping hand. One of the best ways you can do that is to make sure that you have a clean filter installed. If your filter is dirty, your furnace will have to work harder to compensate for the loss of airflow. A dirty filter is an issue at any time of the year, but it’s especially problematic in extremely low temperatures when your furnace is already working its hardest.
- Don’t set back your thermostat. Although setting your thermostat back to conserve energy is a great idea, you should hold off on doing it when the temperatures are extremely low. That’s because if your furnace is sized correctly, it might have a hard time bringing your home back up to your desired temperature, and it will consume a whole lot of energy while it’s trying to do so.
- Check high efficiency furnace vents outside. If you have a high efficiency furnace, you likely have intake and exhaust vents that lead outside (those PVC pipes that stick out the side of your home). Check to make sure that nothing is blocking those vents and that snow or ice has not built up inside and around them. This will help keep your furnace working properly and safely.
- Maintain, maintain, maintain. When the temps outside are extremely low, your furnace is probably the most important appliance in the house. If you maintain it regularly, you should have no issues with the safety, reliability, efficiency, and comfort in your home.
- Get a jump on cold weather by increasing the temperature in your home before the weather strikes.