Prepare for Cold Weather

Prepare for Cold Weather

  • Adam Pretorius
  • 01/10/24

Homes in the MidWest (Climate Zone 5) are built to code at temperatures that are only -10 to -20 degrees. That’s why it’s extremely important to monitor your home when we have extremely cold temperatures. Keep in mind that the middle of the night is when your furnace is working the hardest and we will see maintenance or breakdowns occur. Below are some of the many problems homes experience:

🧊 Many homes have uneven temperatures without zoning or multiple HVAC systems.
🧊 Unbalanced ductwork in varying house layouts reduces comfort.
🧊 Air leaks let the heat out.

Here’s five tips I practice when it’s cold:
🗻 Close blinds and curtains, live in a cave. When the temperatures dip below -10 degrees Fahrenheit, I close my blinds and curtains to help keep air leakage to the absolute minimum since most heat is lost through windows and doors.
🔥 Fireplace beware. I avoid running the main level fireplace too long as it can artificially heat this space and therefore the nearby thermostat that controls the whole-house will be unevenly distributing heat.
🚘 Do not warm your car up in attached garages. I never warm my cars with the garage door open which is particularly important if you have conditioned space attached or shared with the garage that can have pipes running in shared walls.
🌡️ Turn off thermostat schedules. I do not use thermostat heating schedules as they’re not as efficient as your smart thermostat wants you to believe. Also, remove “eco mode” off your thermostat in extremely cold temperatures.
🚪 Keep interior doors open. It’s important to allow air to flow through your house especially for the air returns which commonly are not in every room. Keeping interior doors open helps the furnace function more efficiently.

Oh, and don’t forget to replace your furnace filter! Your furnace will have a hard time cycling air with a filthy filter and can risk blowing a pressure switch at—you guessed it—the middle of the night!

Looking for more ideas, perhaps this summer is a great time to do a blower test and research increasing insulation and air leaks. 

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