There aren't many things more frustrating than an air conditioning that refuses to run. A hot, muggy home can make your space incredibly uncomfortable, which is why I have always focused on maintaining my air conditioning system. Unfortunately, I still run into problems from time to time and I am sure that all of you do, which is one of the reasons I decided to build this website. Check out these posts for more information about keeping your system working beautifully, even if you aren't naturally good at fixing things. You never know, making the right changes could dramatically improve your summertime experience.
There are cold days, and then there are cold days. When the thermometer dips below zero and stays there for days on end, the ultra-cold temperatures put an extra strain on your furnace. It has to work harder than ever to keep up, and in some cases, your home may not stay as warm as you'd like. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can ease the burden on your heater and keep your home warm when the weather throws you a curve ball.
Turn the thermostat down.
Your furnace won't have to work as hard to keep your home at 62 or 64 F as it will to keep your home at 68 or 70 F. Even if you're not usually one to keep your home temperature lower, consider making an exception during this cold spell. Throw on an extra layer or two of clothing, and you'll stay comfortable. The decreased burden on your furnace will reduce the chances of it breaking down and leaving you completely without heat.
Close off rooms you don't use.
If there are any rooms you rarely use, consider just closing the doors and turning off the heating vents in those rooms. There's no use heating them if you won't be in there. With these rooms closed off, there will be more warm air left for the rooms you do use, so your furnace won't have to turn on and off as often.
The only time this is not a good idea is if you have pipes running behind the walls or under the floor in a certain room. In this case, closing off the room to the heat may cause the pipes to freeze, and frozen pipes can burst and lead to flooding.
Change the air filter.
You really should be changing your furnace filter every one to two months regardless of how cold the weather is. But so many homeowners forget to keep up with this task. Change the furnace filter before a cold spell or when the temperature first plummets. It's easier for your furnace to push air through a clean, new filter than through one that has been clogged with dust.
Air filters only cost a few dollars a piece, so there's no reason to skimp on them. A basic fiberglass filter will work well enough for your furnace, though you may want a more effective cotton one if you have allergy sufferers in the home.
Cook in the oven.
Take this opportunity to stay in and cook some of your favorites. Bake a loaf or bread, or roast yourself some chicken in the oven. The oven will give off plenty of heat, warming your kitchen so your furnace does not have to work as hard to do so. When you are done baking, just leave the oven open and let the extra heat seep out. Do not, however, leave the oven on and use it to heat the room when you'e not cooking anything. This is not safe.
Cover the windows.
Windows are a key point of heat loss in homes, especially when it is frigid cold outside. To help reduce heat loss through the window, hang an extra layer of curtains over each window. If you do not have extra curtains, you can always drape a blanket over the curtain rod. The less heat is lost through the windows, the less your furnace will have to work.
If you follow the tips above, you can reduce the burden on your furnace and decrease your chances of a broken heater during a cold spell. If your furnace does begin acting strange, contact local heating services.