Oh, Snap! How Can I Prepare My Home for the Cold?
What Is a Polar Vortex Anyway?
The science is that the polar vortex is a large area of low pressure, cold air, that surrounds the North and South poles. It's called a vortex because of the counter-clockwise airflow that helps to keep that colder air close to the poles. However, during the winter there is a strong possibility for the vortex to become less stable and expand sending the frigid Arctic air towards us.
There are several steps you can take to make sure your home is prepared for the Polar Vortex. Your home is a major investment, and we want to make sure it's safe and reliable, so you can stay warm and comfortable especially as the polar vortex heads to Wisconsin this week.
Do Not Setback Your Thermostat
The temperatures are projected to be well under zero, with double negative digits this weekend. By not setting your thermostat back while you sleep, you are ensuring that you'll not only stay comfortable but also warm during these crazy cold nights.
Make Sure the Water is Shut Off to Your Outside Faucets
When water freezes, ice expands nearly 10% more than the original space the water occupied. If a pipe is already full of water in the liquid state there's no room for the ice expansion when the water freezes and when the water freezes something is going to give.
Outdoor faucets are especially vulnerable to cold weather and with the extreme chilled weather from the polar vortex, it's important to shut off the water for the faucet if you haven't done so already. You should see the water supply near your outside faucet in the ceiling of your basement. Close off these supplies (righty tighty, lefty loosey).
If you run into an issue with frozen or burst pipes, our plumbers are here to help you. Just give us a call.
Clear Your Exhaust Vents from Snow and Ice
We've said this before and we'll say it again. Make sure the vents for your furnace and water heater are clear of any snow or ice. This is not only for your safety, but it also keeps your system running smoothly when you need it most...like during this polar vortex.
We're going to leave the weather forecasting to the weather folks, but it's best to be prepared than have something be clogged and dangerous or even breakdown. Snow is projected in the forecast, so make sure you bundle up when you go to clear your vents!
Change the Batteries in Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If your vents are clear of snow and ice, your system is able to continue to vent the dangerous gases it expels while working to keep your home warm and comfortable. But, when was the last time you changed your carbon monoxide batteries?
Please make sure you have fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide detector(s). For the safety of you and your family. You can also search the nearest hardware store for plugin versions as well. A good rule of thumb is to have a detector on each level of your home.
Make Sure Your Furnace Filter is Clean
A clean furnace filter ensures proper airflow. It helps to keep your furnace from overworking on top of the pressure your furnace will be under during the negative double digits of this week's upcoming polar vortex.
Do you know what size your furnace filter is? Do you know how to change your furnace filter? Our expert heating technicians can help answer these and any other questions you may have regarding your heating system.
Get Your Furnace Service Annually
When was the last time you had your furnace checked? For the safety of your family and the safety of your system, we encourage you to get your furnace checked every year.
You can give us a call whenever you need us. We're not comfortable until you are.