Winter storm warnings, with news of frigid air masses, multiple inches of expected snow, and very windy conditions, are famous for motivating millions of homeowners to scurry to the grocery store and stock up on bread, milk, and snacks to help them manage until the storm passes and roads are once again clear and safe. While this type of preparation can certainly be helpful, homeowners should also consider making sure their HVAC system is prepared to meet the challenges of a severe winter storm. If you are in the path of this type of weather event, here are some tips to help you keep your home warmer and more comfortable for your family during winter storm conditions.
Cut down on heat loss
The fierce winds typically associated with winter storms can make even well-insulated homes feel drafty and cold. To help reduce this type of heat loss, homeowners can do these things:
- ask all family members to use the most sheltered exterior doors when entering or exiting the home, such as a door that opens into an enclosed porch or garage
- place folded towels or purchased draft stoppers at door sills
- cover windows by closing drapes, applying a layer of insulating bubble wrap, or temporarily hanging a quilt or blanket
It can also be helpful to ask family members to avoid opening exterior doors as much as possible and to make sure that garage doors are closed quickly to help limit heat loss from your home.
Change furnace filters and keep high-efficiency vents cleared
Your furnace will have to work much harder and move a lot more heated air during severely cold weather conditions. Changing the furnace filter and making sure to keep high-efficiency vents and pipes clear of snow, ice, and debris will help your furnace work more efficiently and help to avoid excessive wear on components.
Proactively manage thermostat settings
Since you know that your furnace will need to work harder during this time, it can be helpful to suspend any energy-saving thermostat settings you are using that automatically lower the interior temperature of the home at night. Instead, set the thermostat a few degrees warmer than normal when the storm is expected to hit and keep it that way until the danger passes. Doing this will help your heating equipment overcome the extreme cold and help to ensure that your home stays comfortable during this time.
To learn more about managing your HVAC system during periods of extreme cold, or to have your system serviced or repaired before the storm hits, contact a reputable HVAC services contractor near you.