As we get into the heart of the winter season, it’s important to be mindful of what you should do when unusual cold shows up, the way it did in January, 2019.  When the ambient air temperature falls to -10, -20, or even -30, it’s important to know what to expect and how to safeguard your home from damage from winter’s icy chill.

Heating systems are generally designed to accommodate the sorts of low temperatures that we usually see over the course of an average winter, and with the weather that we’re going to get in the Chicagoland and Lake Geneva areas over the next several days drastically exceeding these normal lows, we wanted to pass along some advice for keeping your home as comfortable as possible over the next few days as record cold temperatures and -50 degree plus windchills being probable.

First, know that your home WILL struggle to maintain warm temperatures.  This is normal, again, as systems are designed for temperatures as low as we’re going to receive.  We strongly urge you to take the following steps to mitigate this:
 
  1. Raise your set points TODAY between two and four degrees warmer than usual.
  2. Take all of your programmable thermostats and place them into HOLD instead of scheduled drops for nighttime/away.
  3. If you have a furnace or air handler, replace the filter.
  4. Limit opening exterior and garage doors, keeping them closed at all times if possible.
  5. Make sure any air vents and returns are not blocked or obstructed.
  6. Check your intake and exhaust pipes and keep them clear of ice and snow.
Do not panic if the output from furnaces or air handlers is warmer than usual or even hot: this will be normal as the system works to keep up with the demand for warmth.
 
Steam humidifiers will introduce additional moisture and heat into the home to help keep your home warm because of the higher set points.  Winters in this part of the country can get awfully cold.  Stay warm!

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