“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden
Coach Wooden was a central Indiana farmboy, and knew something about Indiana’s cold winters. So with the coldest weather in over 20 years projected to hit next week, we did a little research to help you prepare your home for the extreme temperatures.
While we recommend checking out the full list of ways to prepare for the emergency temperatures here, we have focused on the areas that impact your home’s comfort. Before you know what to do, you need to know that these steps are necessary because furnaces are not designed to keep up with outdoor temperatures below zero. With the system struggling to keep up, you need to do everything possible to keep it from failing.
1. Clean or change your filter. With your furnace working overtime, airflow restrictions caused by a dirty filter could cause failure. (Purchase filters here)
2. Lower your thermostat setting. Whether you have a old school mercury dial thermostat, programmable thermostat, or a fancy wifi stat, with a below freezing temperature outside help your system by dropping the set point 3-5 degrees lower than normal.
3. Shut vents to cooler spaces that are unused. If you have vents running to your basement or crawlspace (so long as they are not warming water pipes), shutting them will keep warmer air circulating in the living space.
4. Keep exhaust vent clear. If you have a 90% efficiency or greater furnace, the exhaust air vents through PVC, many times through a side wall. Especially if you have a basement furnace, the PVC venting will likely exit just above ground level. Periodically you should check to ensure snow or ice is not blocking the exit point of your vent. If it’s blocked, it will cause your furnace to shut down.
5. Even with the above actions, it’s likely that your furnace won’t keep up to the normal temperature. As a result, we know many homeowners resort to using space heaters. These are the biggest safety risk you have. Please use space heaters as a last resort, and practice precaution in where they are placed and never use overnight.
If the extreme cold is too much and you need an expert to come out to your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 317.670.0171.
Revised January 1, 2018