Homeowners in Wisconsin should prepare for the record negative temperatures that are about to hit in the next few days! What do we mean by prepare? Below are some helpful tips to keep your home running to its best performance during these cold temps.
Preparing Your Furnace
With negative temperatures reaching -50+ newer homes will struggle to keep up with as older homes will not maintain temperature and the temperature inside the home will drop even when the furnace is running to full capacity. What you can do to try to maintain heat as much as possible to start a few days early raising your thermostat 2-3 degrees warmer than normal. This will allow your furnace to get a head start. Keep exterior doors and garage doors close as much as possible. Take all programmable thermostats out of setback mode and set it to permanent hold. Check all vents in your home to make sure they are not obstructed by rugs or furniture.
Check the intake and exhaust to make sure they are clear of ice and snow, they are two white PVC pipes. Typically located on the side or back of the home.
If you heat with wood make sure that you have enough stock to get through these few cold days. Also, inspect your fireplace to make sure it is all cleaned and ready for use.
Reversing Ceiling Fans
If your fan has a reverse switch, this can be used to create an upward draft that will cause the heat to push down into the room. This is a helpful tip for rooms with higher ceilings.
Keeping Pipes From Freezing
With these cold temps also comes the worry about pipes freezing. By turning on faucets to cold and letting them drip can relieve pressure and allow water to not stand still in the pipes. Only use this method on faucets connected to a pipe that may freeze as it does wastewater. Also, open all cabinet doors under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom locations. This will allows the heat in the room to circulate around the pipes. Keeping your home at a proper temperature, if you are planning to be out of town during colder months keep your home at a minimum of 56 degrees.
If you have older windows in your home check to make sure air is not entering through them. If you can feel a draft try caulking around the window. Keep curtains and blinds closed on all windows that direct sunlight does not enter. Cover or remove any window air conditioners. Installing sheet plastic window insulation kits will also help with heat loss by windows.