7 Steps To Help Keep Your Home Warm During Extreme Cold Temperatures

Enduring Winter is just part of living in North East Wisconsin. From time to time, the winter temperatures we experience drop to sub-zero levels. While sub-zero temperatures might be a common occurrence for winter in Wisconsin, many people may not realize that there are certain levels of extreme temperatures and wind chills that our homes’ heating systems are NOT designed for: -20 to -30 degree temperatures with wind chills into -40 and approaching -50+.

Both newer and older homes will struggle to maintain temperature and the temperature could drop even while the heating system is working at full capacity.

What can you do to prepare?

  1. Raise the temperature in your home today, 2 to 4 degrees above your normal setting.
  2. Take all programmable thermostats out of setback mode and set on a permanent HOLD.
  3. If you have a furnace; replace the filter.
  4. Keep garage doors closed and limit opening exterior doors.
  5. Make sure air vents and radiators are not blocked or obstructed.
  6. If you have a 90%+ furnace and boiler, you must keep the intake and exhaust pipes clear of ice and snow. During these cold temperatures, ice can build up. A 90%+ furnace and boiler have 2 white PVC pipes; an exhaust pipe and an intake pipe that are generally on the side or back of your home.
  7. Share this information with family and friends.

If the temperature in your home is dropping and your radiators are HOT with boiler systems or you have HOT air coming out of your vents with furnaces, DO NOT PANIC. Please make sure that your heating system continues to operate.

If the temperatures drop in your home, it will not be able to recover until the extreme temperatures rise and the windchill diminishes. Our homes’ heating systems cannot overcome outdoor temperatures of -20 to -30 with wind chill approaching -50+. Your heating system in most cases is designed to maintain your indoor temperature set point (not increase) when the outdoor temperature is as low as -10 to -15 degrees.

To help minimize temperature loss you can boil water, make soup or stews; they help introduce humidity and warmer temperatures into your home. NOTE: DO NOT USE YOUR OVEN OR A GRILL TO HEAT YOUR HOME as these actions can produce harmful and potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide! Please check on neighbors and elderly residents during these extreme temperatures. Stay warm and safe this week and share this post with any of your family and friends.

If your home’s heating system does stop operating, please call Van’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning at 866-573-8386.

For more information on how Van’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (located in De Pere, Wisconsin) can prolong the life of your HVAC system, please call us at 866-573-8386 today!


Common problems with heaters: are you in need of a checkup?

Last winter, did it seem like your heating system wasn’t working as well as it did in years past? Did you see a spike in your monthly heating bills even though your system was running the same way as always? If so, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system may be experiencing some minor problems that can be fixed with a little maintenance.

Well-maintained heaters are so important for your comfort, safety, and wallet. Regular maintenance might seem like a burden and something you can “put off” until a later date, but if you wait too long, the results can be costly.

If you’ve yet to get a heating system tune-up this year and have experienced any of the following problems, it’s time to call Van’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.

  • Expensive bills. It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again: an increase in your monthly bill is a sure-fire sign that something about your system is off, especially if your monthly usage hasn’t really changed. Is it possible that your utility company has increased your heating costs? Yes, but an equally-likely scenario is that something internal is causing the bulk of your problems. If your system isn’t running at an optimal level, then it needs to work harder to produce the results you’re used to seeing. And more work equals more money. It’s that simple.
  • Loud or strange noises. It is perfectly normal for a heater to make noises when it either begins or stops running; however, new sounds are a good indication that something is wrong. As a resident of the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, you’re most likely familiar with the sounds your heating system makes, seeing how they are often left running for months on end. If you hear anything out of the ordinary (such as squeaking or grinding), that means your system might have broken parts that need to be fixed before they cause further, or even permanent, damage.
  • Foul odors. When you start running your heating system, the smell of the air inside your house should not change. If it does, the odor could indicate that there are some internal issues with mold, mildew, drain clogging, or even the heater’s wiring. These issues are usually met with bad smells, so if the air starts to stink, it’s time to think (about calling Van’s)!
  • Changes to your home’s temperatures. When you set the thermostat to a number, that number shouldn’t fluctuate while your system is running. Similarly, your house should not have hot and cold spots; the temperature throughout the building remain the same no matter where you go. If it isn’t, then that is a sign that either something is wrong with your thermostat or something is wrong with the system. Either way, the problem should be addressed before your HVAC system causes more costly issues.

Considering a professional tune-up before winter strikes – especially if you faced heater-related problems last year – is one of the best things you can do before the seasons change. By doing so, you could very well save yourself a boatload of trouble – and money – when the cold weather eventually hits Wisconsin.

And winter is indeed coming.

For more information on how Van’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (located in De Pere, Wisconsin) can prolong the life of your HVAC system, please call us at 866-573-8386 today!