Dealing with Extreme Cold | Maytag HVAC Blog

Dealing with Extreme Cold

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Snow and ice can be hard on your HVAC system

WINTER! That frightful winter weather has crept into many areas of the country already. While some homeowners are blessed with mild winters, others need to prepare for subzero temperatures and snow.

We’re not talking about temperatures in the 40s…we’re talking about temperatures that hurt your face as soon as you step outside. Here are some things you should have on your mind before, during and after an extreme cold front roll in…

  1. Be prepared for chillier indoor temperatures. There is only so much your furnace is going to be able to do to keep your home warm. There will come a point when even the best furnace is going to struggle to keep up with demand. Break out the sweaters and blankets, and drink a cup of hot cocoa.
  2. Don’t crank the heat. As mentioned above, it may feel like your home just can’t get warm enough. Resist the temptation to blast the heat. All you’ll achieve is a higher utility bill.
  3. Don’t be afraid to turn the thermostat down a degree or two. If your furnace is constantly running trying to reach the temperature you have your thermostat set to, consider a lower temperature setting. This way, your gas furnace will turn off sooner – saving money on utility bills and reducing wear and tear on your unit.
  4. Consider weather stripping around your windows and doors. Drafts during extremely cold weather may also be making your home feel like the inside of an igloo. You can pick up weather stripping at your local hardware store to help combat these drafts.
  5. Make sure your outside vents are clear. Do you know where your gas furnace vents the byproducts of combustion? Make sure your vent is clear from snow and winter debris to make sure those byproducts are exiting your home correctly.
  6. Registers and vents indoors should also be clear. Make sure furniture and rugs are not blocking your indoor vents either. You also want to make sure they were not accidentally closed. Blocked vents and registers can result in cold rooms and system damage.
  7. If you’re going out of town, have a neighbor check your home. During extremely cold weather, there could be too much strain placed on your gas furnace. This may cause a malfunction. If you aren’t home, the lack of warm air circulating through your home could result in frozen pipes and a number of other health and safety issues. Have a neighbor pop into your house each day to make sure everything is running smoothly.
  8. If you’re using a space heater, make sure you practice proper safety. During extreme cold, you may feel like you need supplemental heat. Temporarily using a space heater isn’t necessarily a bad thing (although it can result in a higher electric bill), but you must make sure that it is properly attended and that it is nowhere near flammable materials.

Feel like your furnace isn’t ready to tackle extreme cold? Get in touch with a local heating and air specialist.

 

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