Extreme cold is hard on all of us, and guess what? It also puts a strain on your furnace. Your HVAC system will not run “normally” during an extreme cold snap. But, there are things you can do to keep your furnace humming, home warm, and family comfortable. Find out 5 tips for staying warm during extreme cold.

The facts first: Most furnace systems are designed to work optimally at 0 degrees or above. When the mercury continues to drop below zero, and wind chills even further, a furnace is more likely to break down, and our phones are more likely to light up at Jack Kiefer Heating & Air.  

As your HVAC experts in Neenah and the Fox Cities, you can count on us to be there in a “snap” when you call us. But follow our trouble shooting tips for extreme cold, and you should be able to conquer the bone chilling cold on your own.  

Tip #1: To Conquer Extreme Cold, Adjust Your Thermostat

According to ENERGY STAR, a 68°F thermostat setting when you are home in the winter provides the best balance between energy efficiency, and comfort. But that’s during reasonable conditions. 

When the forecast calls for a cold snap soon we say, “Set it and forget it”.  

  • Bump up the heat on your thermostat by a few degrees, and leave it there. You may be tempted to turn down the setting when you leave your home for a bit, or when you go to sleep. That’s a good idea when the weather is normal, but during extreme cold your furnace will struggle to return to its warmer setting.   
  • Set your programmable thermostat on HOLD and leave it there, until temperatures warm up to a more forgiving state.

Tip #2: Replace Your Furnace Filter

Ideally, you should change the air filter on your furnace every 1 to 3 months. During a cold snap, it is especially important to be sure that the filter on your furnace is clean. Here’s why: A dirty or clogged air filter restricts air flow. That means your furnace will have to work harder to maintain a warm temperature. In extreme cold, this can cause your furnace to overheat, and shut off.  

Tip #3: Treat Heat Like Gold

Once you’ve gotten your home at the desired temperature during a cold snap be sure to keep the warm air flowing, and don’t let it escape! There are several ways you can do this.

  • Make sure furniture is not obstructing air vents
  • To keep the heat in close blinds or drapes
  • Seal up air leaks in your home
  • Run your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction to push down warm air

Tip #4: Check Your Home’s Humidity

A healthy humidity level (about 45%) in your home helps the indoor temperature feel warmer in the wintertime. Most homes will have a whole home humidifier. During extreme cold, you may need a little boost. 

  • Run a small humidifier in the rooms you use the most
  • If you’re in the kitchen, boil a pot of water
  • Put out a vase filled with water near a heating vent  

Tip #5: Replace Your Outdated Furnace

An older furnace may not be the workhorse you need during an extreme cold snap. Knowing when to replace your furnace is important, and something you should consider before the cold weather sets in. How old is too old? Most furnaces are designed to keep working for an estimated 15 to 30 years. Your furnace may need replacing if:

  • Your heating bills keep going up
  • Heat is distributed unevenly in your home
  • You are dealing with a lot of furnace repairs
  • Strange noises are coming from your furnace
  • The blower runs excessively or frequently turns off and on

Contact Us with Your HVAC Questions

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Schedule an HVAC technician to do an annual check on your furnace. The last thing you want is to have furnace problems when you are experiencing the coldest weather of the season!

At Jack Kiefer Heating & Air, we respond quickly, provide service in a friendly manner, and offer fair pricing. We also have HVAC financing available, so you can afford a quality furnace that you and your family can rely on. Give us a call at (920) 637-4189 or drop us an email. We are proud to be your HVAC experts in Neenah and the Fox Cities, and look forward to meeting you.