With the arrival of December, we can expect temperatures overall to continue dropping, but being prepared for the usual winter weather versus those arctic blasts and other extreme cold days is something we all need to think about with regards to our in-home comfort.

In most cold conditions, our furnaces are reliable, efficient machines that keep us warm and cozy. But when the weather turns colder than usual, they might struggle or encounter performance issues.

When the temperature drops below freezing, the furnace, of course, has to work harder to maintain the desired thermostat setting. That means it is hugely important to make sure any and all air filters are clean. Letting Temp Control perform routine maintenance at the beginning of cold season is a great start to ensure you have a clean slate once the temperatures start to plunge. But checking the filters yourself occasionally and replacing them at the suggested intervals for your filter type is strongly encouraged in order to avoid any winter breakdown.

Secondly, pay attention to weather forecasts. If you expect the temperatures to plummet while you’re at work or away, wait before you set your thermostat lower when you are out of the house. Most of us program our thermostats or manually set our thermostats to lower our home’s temperature when we’re away. This is a great way to conserve energy, but when the temperatures are excessively cold, the furnace works much harder to return the home to a desired temperature. In extreme cold it is recommended that we maintain a consistent setting on a thermostat until the weather returns to a normal temperature for the season.

Another seemingly small thing but hugely important to the operation of a furnace is the exterior vent. In freezing, wet weather or heavy snowfall, vents may become covered or frozen over. It’s important that a homeowner knows the location of a furnace’s vents and checks them in extreme weather. Braving the cold weather for a few minutes to check a vent’s opening is another small preventative way to make sure any clogged vents don’t cause performance issues.

Finally, in extreme weather, we do not need to take extreme measures to maintain our comfort in our homes. Cranking the thermostat a few degrees might help as the temperatures plummet. But adding a sweater or another layer of clothing can have the same effect as adding a few clicks on a dial–and clothes don’t add to the heating or fuel bill. Plus, using space heaters in localized areas further helps lower energy bills. Instead of heating a whole home unnecessarily, use a space heater to warm the room you might be using for a short time or while sleeping.

Winter weather is upon us and taking a few simple measures and checking with our local, trusted technicians like ours at Temp Control, can ensure we have a warm, cozy winter free of stress and unexpected repair bills.