The coldest weeks of Indianapolis’ winters are when you need your furnace the most, but low temperatures can drag down your furnace performance if you don’t take steps to keep the system running efficiently.

Preventing Debris Buildup

The colder it is outside, the harder your furnace has to work to maintain a warm indoor temperature. In extreme cold, your furnace is working overtime, so it collects more dust and debris than usual. Debris buildup impedes airflow, impairing your furnace’s performance and causing unnecessary wear on the components. To prevent these issues, inspect your furnace‘s air filter at least once a month and replace it if the filter material is completely covered in dust. At least once a year, vacuum out the inside of your air registers. If you have a high-efficiency furnace that uses an outdoor vent, regularly check the vent for snow or ice blockages that interfere with furnace performance. Scheduling a professional furnace inspection before the cold arrives ensures your system is prepared.

Avoiding Excess Strain

In typical winter weather, you’ll save energy by setting your furnace temperature lower at night or when you’re out for the day. In extreme cold, though, this strategy doesn’t work as well. The indoor temperature is liable to drop so low that your furnace will struggle to warm the house back up. Instead, either set your programmable thermostat on hold at around 70 degrees or use an energy-saving temperature that’s just two or three degrees lower than room temperature.

Avoid the temptation to turn the thermostat all the way up. Especially if it’s older or undersized, your furnace might not be capable of maintaining your ideal temperature during periods of extreme cold. A high setting will cause your furnace to run too often, which can damage the components. For optimal furnace performance, use your normal winter temperature setting or one that’s two to four degrees higher. You might be a little chilly, but you’ll reduce the risk of your furnace giving out.

To optimize your furnace performance before the cold hits, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.