This Christmas, temperatures are going to be low in the Central PA area! HB Home Service Team is sharing some tips to keep your holiday a success!
Heat Pump Heating systems – This weekend temperatures may be dipping below normal design temperatures for heat pump systems. If you find your temperatures not keeping up, before calling for service try switching over to “Emergency Heat”. Emergency Heat, on most heat pumps, uses electric heating strips (similar to what you see inside your kitchen bread toaster) to heat the home. Once the bitter cold has passed just turn the thermostat back to normal heating mode.
Even heat pump systems that are keeping up should be noted that it is completely normal during these temperatures to see the thermostat indicate you are running on auxiliary heat. All this means is that some or all of the electric strips mentioned above have come on to help maintain the desired temperatures.
Thermostats – In an effort to save energy, many homeowners turn their thermostats up and down throughout the course of a day. During extreme weather this could cause your system to not be able to catch back up to your desired temperatures due to extra work involved in recovering those degrees. Our advice is to set the thermostat to your ideal temperature and keep it that way for the duration of the extreme weather. If you have a programmable thermostat you can generally abandon the “schedule” by pushing the “hold” button to keep one temperature.
Air filters – clean air filters are always a big deal, but when your heat is working as hard as it will be in the cold temps…it needs all the help it can get. Make sure your filter is clean and clean or replace it as needed to give your system the best ability to keep you warm.
Temporary heaters – if the heat does go out (not the holiday gift anyone wants) be careful if you reach for a temporary space heater. If a heater is not rated for indoor use then follow the instructions and do not use it indoors. Some heaters can create dangers including fires and carbon monoxide. Even indoor-rated space heaters generally recommend only being used while monitored so be sure to read the instructions to stay safe. Reminder- every home needs and deserves carbon monoxide monitors on every living level to protect your family.
Plumbing – frozen pipes can be a real nightmare, if you have piping on exterior walls (commonly under kitchen sinks) keep them warm to your best ability. For kitchen sink piping, open the cabinet door to allow warmer room air to flow into the cabinet. You can also use insulation to gently wrap around these areas. If it is a regular problem area you can also let the faucet drip a little from both the hot and cold side to reduce the risk of the pipes freezing.
Garage doors – if you have an attached garage keep the doors closed as much as possible. A cold garage will make your house work harder to stay warm and can even contribute to freezing pipes in the home.
Vacant or vacation properties – if you have a vacant home that you keep the temperature set low to save money, consider raising the temperature. The temperature set at your thermostat is generally maintaining temperature at the location of the thermostat. If other areas are generally colder than the space at the thermostat you can expect those areas will get even colder during extreme temperatures. We recommend during extreme temperatures to set the temperature as if the home were occupied. It will cost a few extra dollars to heat but will be much less than damage that frozen pipes could cause.
HB Home Service offers 24/7 emergency service this holiday season!
Stay safe, stay warm and happy holidays from your friends at HB home service team!