Arctic blast is a term frequently heard in severe winter weather reports. Defined as as a weather movement that brings frigid air down into the United States from northern regions of Canada and the North Pole area, reports of an expected Arctic blast typically serve to encourage listeners to dress warmly and use care when commuting to avoid health consequences.
For homeowners, preparing their home's furnace for severe winter weather of this magnitude should also be part of the plan for successfully dealing with an Arctic blast scenario. Doing so will help to ensure that their home and family are kept warm, safe, and comfortable from subzero temperatures and extreme wind chill conditions. If you are hearing a weather report of an imminent arctic blast and want to help your furnace rise to the challenge, here are some things to do before the cold air arrives.
Pause thermostat changes
Setting the thermostat to automatically reduce the temperature within the home at night and when the family is away from home is a common practice that can help to reduce heating bills. Doing so during a severe weather event such as an Arctic blast, however, can cause your furnace to work much harder than it should in order to overcome the effects of extremely low temperatures. During periods of severe winter weather, pausing daily temperature changes can help your furnace comfort your home more effectively.
Clear intake and exhaust vents
Many high-efficiency furnaces manufactured today are installed with intake and exhaust vents to assist with air flow. These pipes extend from the exterior wall of the home, usually within several inches of ground level. If these vents become clogged with drifting snow, ice, leaves, or debris, the furnace will have to work much harder to intake and exhaust air properly. Checking these vents to make sure they are clear is another way in which homeowners can help their furnaces remain efficient during the stress of frigid temperature shifts.
Replace filters more often
Furnaces must cycle on and off more often when subjected to the extreme cold of an Arctic blast. This means that the filters are much more likely to become clogged and impact the ability of the furnace to properly warm the air in the home. Changing the filter more frequently can help to ensure the furnace is able to continue to move warmed air throughout the home.
Homeowners who have concerns about their furnace's ability to keep their home warm should consider having their HVAC system serviced by a reputable heating repair technician prior to any severe weather event.