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HOMEOWNER TIPS: "Winter Advice You Need To Know"

· Barrington HVAC,furnace repair,winter weather,snow storm,HVAC maintenance

Cold weather can really be challenging situation for you and your home. The specialists at Indoor Climate Experts HVAC have compiled a list of great tips and tricks for our community with hopes to keep everyone safe throughout this winter’s frigid subzero temperatures and snowstorms.

*Most homes are not designed to maintain the temperature requested by the thermostat when Chicago delivers outdoor weather below 0°F. Newer homes will struggle and older homes will not be able to maintain your typical indoor climate. The temperature in your home may decrease despite the fact that your furnace will most likely be running at full capacity.


  • Set your thermostat at a temperature ≈2°F - 4°F higher than normal one day before subzero temperatures to increase the ambient temperature of your home and its contents.  
  • Adjust your thermostat temperature to 68°F to 72°F during the subzero temperatures to avoid overworking your furnace.
  • Those of us with Smart Thermostats or Digital/Programmable Thermostats should avoid increasing or decreasing the temperature throughout the day. We recommend removing all setbacks and scheduling (Set your thermostat on a permanent hold).


Check your furnace air filter on a daily basis throughout the Cold-Snap. It is extremely important to have a clean filter to give your furnace the best chance at maintaining a comfortable indoor climate in your home

  • Standard 1” Filter: Replace this filter weekly during subzero Temps.
  • High-Efficient 4”-5” Filter: Replace this filter Monthly during subzero temps.


Flue Pipe (Exhaust) & Fresh Air Intake

Inspect your terminations on the outside of your home. They may be protruding out the roof or the side of your home. If your exhaust vent is blocked or restricted, Deadly Carbon Monoxide builds up in your home. Be sure to test your Carbon Monoxide Detectors in your home to avoid health risk to your and your family.

  • High-Efficient Furnaces (PVC Intake/Exhaust)
    • Clear at least 2 feet of snow around your intake and exhaust terminations to avoid suffocating your furnace. Your furnace will turn itself off if these vents are blocked.
    • These furnaces create water and drain through pumps or smaller ¾” PVC. Check to insure proper draining. If they are located in your attic or crawl space, be sure to monitor the temperature to avoid  allowing the water to freeze inside the furnace or drain lines. Significant equipment & property damage may occur if water is allowed to freeze in the furnace or drain.
  • Standard 80% Efficient Furnaces  (Metal Exhaust Pipe)
    1. These are typically on your roof. If they are blocked, attempt to throw a mixture of salt & sand around the rooftop termination to melt some snow. (DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO ON YOUR ROOF)


  • Inspect and clear space around your vents in your home. Your HVAC equipment is designed to work on pressure. When you block off vents to increase temperature in other rooms it will not function properly.
  • Run ceiling fans in reverse to circulate warm air. (usually a switch in the center of fan)


  • Check to be sure all of your windows are closed and sealed. This is the main cause of inability to maintain temperature in your home. Seal with tape or foam if necessary.
  • Keep interior doors open as much as possible to allow proper air flow throughout your home.
  • Avoid or limit the amount of time with exterior doors open (including garage door).
  • Cover up or remove window air conditioning units to reduce drafts.


  • Prepare your vehicle for the worst
    • Check your vehicle's fluids prior to the cold weather. 
      • Be sure your engine coolant, oil and washer fluid are full. Verify you have winter blend washer fluid that will not freeze. If you are unsure, flush your washer fluid out and replace it with a winter blend fluid with methanol.
    • Pack your vehicle with emergency tools such as; jumper cables, flashlights, batteries, blanket, hand warmers, first aid kit and snow removal tools.
  • Wheels and Tire Safety Tips
    • Check air pressure in your tires before and after the cold weather. Cold weather will decrease the pressure inside your tires causing poor traction.
    • Winter tires are recommended for sub zero conditions. They are designed with a softer rubber and special tread pattern (sipes) that allows them to grip the snow/icy road. The rubber used for typical All-Season tires will freeze over causing reduced traction.
    • Check for ice buildup in your wheels if your vehicle shakes violently when you begin driving. Cold weather may cause many uncommon noises coming from your vehicle. Do not ignore them, have them inspected by a local shop.


  • Stock up on hardwood for your fireplace to have an emergency back-up to heat your home. 
    • **DANGER** Due to non-vented carbon monoxide gasses, Never use your oven or stove to heat your home. 
    • Electric heaters are the safest alternative emergency back-up plan.
  • Be sure to inspect the chimney before using. Clean if necessary.
  • Not all wood is the same. Indoor firewood is typically hardwood without sappy residue.


  • Check your water pipes daily during subzero temperatures.
  • In case of emergency. Locate your home’s primary water shutoff valve.
  • Disconnect, turn off and drain any outdoor hoses or faucets.
  • Insulate hot-water and cold-water pipes in crawl space or attic. This also increases the equipment's efficiency year round.
  • If Frozen. Only use warming pads or hair dryer to thaw. (NO FLAMES)
For More Information, Please Contact ICEHVAC:
Indoor Climate Experts HVAC
Barrington, IL
Office: 847-302-0071
Mobile: 847-370-9630

"We Do Not Simply Fix Problems, We Provide Solutions"

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