What Should You Do When Extreme Weather Hits?
Of course, the best thing is to take precaution with winterization. However, if this is no longer an option, here are some helpful tips so you and your family can stay warm and safe no matter what the weather brings:
General Advice For Heating Season
- Windows and doors are a major source of heat loss. Keeping blinds and curtains closed during extreme weather will help slow down the heat loss in these areas.
- Check your air filter and clean or replace as needed.
- If you system malfunctions or turns off, check the thermostat setting, the furnace switch, and all circuit breakers. If that doesn’t correct the problem call for service.
- In snow storms with higher accumulations, make sure that air intake pipes for high efficiency gas appliances (furnace, water heater, and boiler) are kept clear of snow.
Heat Pump Systems
- Keep snow and ice cleared from around the outdoor unit (about 1 foot diameter), being extremely careful not to hit or scrape the unit with any hard or sharp objects.
- If the outdoor unit becomes covered in ice or the system does not seem to be heating as well as normal, turn the thermostat to emergency heat and call for service right away.
Gas Furnaces (Natural or Propane)
- Check your propane tank level to make sure you have plenty of fuel before a storm hits.
- Modern furnaces will often go into a “lock out” when experiencing a problem. The furnace can sometimes be reset to get the heat back on until a service technician arrives. This is done simply by turning the power OFF and then ON. The unit going in to “lock out” is a sign the system needs to be repaired so call for service immediately.
If you are experiencing little to no water flow:
- Turn off the main water valve** but make sure to keep your faucets ‘open’. Keeping your faucets open will help to release pressure buildup in your pipes, which will reduce the likelihood of a pipe rupture.
- Turn on the ‘hot water’. Hot water lines usually freeze first because there is less oxygen contained in the water. Continue to keep the faucet open. As the frozen area starts to melt, the small amount of running water will help melt the ice.
- Open the cabinet doors under your kitchen sink. Turn up the heat in your home to slowly heat up the pipes. Heat and patience is very important when thawing frozen pipes.
- If you are able to boil a bit of water, soak a towel in the hot water and wrap the towel around the frozen pipe.