By: Brian Schutt
Winter is coming! Read on for our three steps to protect your furnace from snow and stay warm in Indianapolis.
Weather folks are predicting up to a foot of snow in Indianapolis this weekend. What’s that mean for you? Well, if you regress to the mean, it means you’re probably stocking up on bread and milk (still can’t figure that out) and planning to be inside until Monday.
However, if you hope to enjoy those carbs and dairy, you can’t be milquetoast in your furnace preparation.
Step 1: Protect Furnace from Snow by Checking Your Filter
This always step 1 in a homeowner’s preventative maintenance. In every single what can you do for yourself article we’ve ever written; step 1 is always to check your filter. Yet, HVAC companies across Indianapolis earn the GDP of small countries each winter fixing systems that fail as a result of poor airflow from old filters. If you’re new to homeownership or don’t know where your furnace filter is located (hint: almost certainly near your furnace), we’ve created a How to Change Your Furnace Filter Guide.
Step 2: Check Your Furnace Exhaust
Often overlooked, and understandably so given our limited snowfall accumulation, is the furnace exhaust. As many furnaces in Indianapolis are located in basements and many furnaces are 90% efficient and above, many furnaces vent through a side wall near ground level.
As snow accumulates, it can potentially block both the exhaust air and intake air in your furnace. If the exhaust air is blocked, safety controls will likely shut off your furnace leaving you in the cold. As you can imagine, this is a pretty simple solution: keep snow cleared from your exhaust vents.
Step 3: Adjust Your Expectations and Your Thermostat
As temperatures drop, so should your furnace set point. That difference between outdoor air temperature and the desired indoor air temperature creates the work your furnace has to do. It stands to reason, then, that as that outdoor air temperature drops, keeping the thermostat set point constant would increase the workload of your furnace. This recommendation never wins me any fans (ahem, Holsapple Communications) but is certainly the pragmatic move if you have concerns about the furnace’s age and ability to keep up.
While there’s no set rule on this, I would begin to consider lowering your temperature set point if the outdoor air temperature gets below 20 degrees.
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As always, Homesense Heating & Cooling is here to help protect your furnace from snow. Call (317) 458-9255 to get help. Or look here if you have questions on furnace repair or replacement.