HVAC Tips For Extreme Cold

While Nortek Environmental, Inc. is dedicated to ensuring that all of our customers have the best possible experience when choosing Nortek Environmental, Inc. for their HVAC needs, Nortek Environmental, Inc. is also dedicated to informing you about any aspect related to the HVAC industry, including the weather. It seems that each week we get into January, the temperature drops further and further, especially this past week where wind chills put our temperatures at below -25 degrees Fahrenheit. We have compiled this list of Extreme Cold Weather Safety Tips to ensure that you and your family are kept safe during this time of extreme cold:

Extreme Cold HVAC Tips

  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #1. Drop Your Thermostat a Few Degrees: Nortek Environmental, Inc. recommends dropping your thermostat from your currently desired level by 3-5 degrees. This is going to allow your furnace to not work as hard as it currently is to keep your home warm. With the average household keeping their furnace set in the high 60’s and low 70’s, dropping your thermostat 3-5 degrees will be a rather unnoticeable change that will help keep your furnace running.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #2. Check Your Furnace Filters: Just to remind everyone, regardless of what time of the year it is, everyone should be replacing their furnace filter at least once a month to prevent buildup of debris and making your furnace run harder than necessary. However, during extremely cold times, your furnace will be running longer than usual which could cause there to be more debris than usual that builds up on your filter. You may have to replace your furnace filter more than once a month during extended periods of cold weather. We highly recommend keeping an eye on your furnace filter to make sure that it isn’t dirty on a daily basis during periods of extremely cold temperatures.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #3. Keep All Exhaust Vents Clear: We have had many service calls in the past few days that have resulted from this tip. It is very important to understand how your furnace’s exhaust is vented. A great example is that of 90% Efficiency Furnaces. 90% Efficiency Furnaces are mostly vented through PVC pipe where it exits your home outside shortly above ground level. It is very important to check and see if that area is clear of snow and ice, otherwise the buildup will block the exhaust and cause your furnace to not function properly.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #4. Your Furnace May Still Not Warm Normally: It is entirely possible that your furnace may not be able to get your home’s temperature raised to your desired temperature on your thermostat. We would like to advise you that if this is the case, please use space heaters as a last resort as there are several safety concerns about their use. If your furnace is not warming to your desired temperature, please call us at (630) 548-1500 and we can see how we can resolve the issue.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #5. Bundle Up: Cover up as much exposed skin as you can. During times of extreme cold, it can take a mere 10-15 minutes to get frost bitten on exposed skin. Additionally, dress in layers. This is the perfect time to break out any pairs of thermal shirts or long underwear to make sure that you’re being kept as warm as possible. Indicators of frost-bite is skin that is either white or a grayish yellow, and the skin will feel either firm or waxy.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #6. Beware of Hypothermia: Another issue that can frequently happen during times of extremely low temperatures is Hypothermia. Typically, the symptoms of Hypothermia are confusion, shivering, clumsiness and drowsiness. Keep yourself warm and bundled up to avoid this. If you are experiencing any of the given Hypothermia symptoms or you notice somebody else experiencing them, please get medical attention.
  • Extreme Cold HVAC Tip #7. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: While it may feel that caffeine and alcohol keep you warm, they actually lower your body temperature, making you prone to Hypothermia during times of extremely low temperatures. We recommend drinking hot beverages to keep you warm during this time, but please try your best to avoid caffeine and alcohol if you have plans of going outside.

We hope that everyone is staying warm during this time. If you are experiencing any problems with your home’s heat, please call us at (630) 548-1500 so we can be of assistance to you. Also remember that Nortek Environmental, Inc. is open 24 hours, 7 days a week as well.