Help Your Furnace Help You in Extreme Cold

I don’t think that I am breaking any news when I tell you that golf season is officially over for us here in Rochester. The temperatures have been frigid, making for a treacherous commute, icy patches on the sidewalks, and pets that would rather curl up in a corner than go outside and brave the elements. Hopefully, you have been following our advice all year, and your furnace or home heating system is paying you back by keeping your home comfortable and warm. It is easy to ignore your furnace for 6 months of the year, and then to take it for granted when it is only called upon to get the chill out of your house. Spoiler alert: Those days are gone for now, and you really need your heat to be working overtime for the next couple of weeks. 

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, some practical advice that has helped our customers to be comfortable in their homes while also making it easier for their furnace to do its job.

Maintain a steady thermostat setting- Many people turn the thermostat to a cooler temperature at some points during the day, and that makes some sense. Why pay to heat an empty home if you’re gone all day working? While normally a solid tactic, when dealing with the sub-zero temperatures that we’ve experienced recently, a more prudent strategy is to set the thermostat and leave it there. Without going Bill Nye on you, just trust me when I say that it takes considerably more energy to heat a house from a cooler temperature than it does to maintain a temperature and comfort level. More energy consumption means higher energy bills AND more stress on your furnace. In this cold, set it and forget it!

Are Snuggies still a thing? In the deep of winter, you should prepare yourself to be comfortable in a home that is a couple of degrees colder than your ideal. Even the most well-built home with top-of-the-line insulation, weatherproof windows, and a good heating system will struggle against the elements. If you are someone who is most comfortable in a home that is a little warmer than most, you may need to help your furnace out a bit. As it struggles to heat your home and push the cold air out, do your part and grab a sweater, or a blanket. This cold snap will pass in another week or so and you can get back to lounging at home in a tank top, but for now, do your part to help.

Do what you can to keep the cold outside- When the outside temperature is 15 degrees, it does not take a lot of that cold air to really affect the temperature in your home. With that in mind, try to be cognizant of how you can reduce the amount of cold that you let in your house. Storm doors, a breezeway, and garages are the most common ways to build a buffer between the arctic air outside and the heated environment of your home. If you are bringing in groceries, children, pets, or anything else, try to plan your trips. Minimizing the amount of time that the door is open will drastically reduce the amount of cold air introduced into your home.

I just wanted to share a few tips and tricks that we’ve picked up over the years on how to deal with this weather and keep your home as comfortable as possible. Remember this type of weather when deciding if you can skip routine furnace maintenance. Stay Warm!!