As we have seen on the news, most of this country will be experiencing a blast from the Polar Vortex and there will be plunging temperatures across most of the United States. 32 states are expected to be feeling some effect of this weather event. Most will experience temperatures and wind chills that the homes’ heating systems are NOT designed for.
Newer homes may struggle to maintain temperature and older homes most likely will NOT maintain temperature and the temperature WILL drop while the heating system is working at full capacity.
Here are some general suggestions for when the temperatures go well below normal levels:
1. You can raise the temperature in your home by 2 to 4 degrees above your normal setting. Take all programmable thermostats out of setback mode and set on a permanent HOLD until the weather and cold temperatures get back to a more normal level.
2. If you have a furnace; replace the filter.
3. Keep garage doors closed and limit opening exterior doors.
4. Make sure air vents and radiators are not blocked or obstructed.
5. 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.
If the temperature in your home is dropping and your radiators are HOT with boiler systems or you have HOT air coming out of your vents with furnaces DO NOT PANIC. Please make sure that your heating system continues to operate. If the temperatures drop in your home, it will not be able to recover until temperatures rise and the wind-chill diminishes. Most heating systems are sized to operate at 0 degrees outdoor. Put your thermostat on hold 70 degrees or higher.
To help minimize temperature loss you can boil water, make soup, or stews; they help introduce humidity and warmer temperatures into your home.
DO NOT USE YOUR OVEN or a GRILL TO HEAT YOUR HOME.
Please check on neighbors and elderly residents during any extreme temperatures. Stay warm and safe and share this information with any of your family and friends.