How to Survive an Extreme Cold Spell
In the Midwest, we sometimes experience temperatures and wind chills that our home's heating system is not designed for. -20º to -30º temperatures with wind chills down to -50º can be a strain on the system.
Homes can struggle to keep up, and the temperature may drop while the heating system is working at full capacity. To help make it through a cold spell, follow these steps:
- Raise the temperature 2 to 4 degrees above normal in your home the day before the cold weather hits.
- Take all programmable thermostats out of setback mode and set on a permanent HOLD.
- If you have a furnace, replace the filter.
- Limit opening exterior doors as much as possible.
- Make sure air vents and radiators are not blocked or obstructed.
- If you have a 90%+ furnace and boiler, you must keep the intake and exhaust clear of ice and snow. During these cold temperatures, ice can build up. A 90%+ furnace and boiler have 2 white PVC pipes: an exhaust pipe and an intake pipe that are generally on the side or back of your home. In some instances, they are on your roof. Do not go on your roof to clear the pipe.
To help minimize temperature loss you can boil water or make soup; they help introduce humidity and warmer temperatures into your home. You can also snuggle under a warm blanket. DO NOT USE YOUR OVEN OR A GRILL TO HEAT YOUR HOME. If the temperature in your house keeps dropping, it may be time to call your local HVAC repair service.