MINNEAPOLIS — With temps below zero, Hero Plumbing, Heating and Cooling tells KARE 11 that technicians are responding to 25-30 emergency calls a day, mainly to fix furnaces.
If you're looking to avoid an emergency yourself, Ian Werner has three easy suggestions:
1. Check/Change your filter
"Honestly, the best thing you can do is change your filter. When the system is running as much as it is when it is cold like this, it's really going to fill up that filter about twice as quick as it normally would," Ian said.
*If you take a look and still aren't sure if your filter needs to go, try to shine a flashlight through it. If the light can't get through, it's time for a new one.
2. Dumb down your smart thermostat
Though programming your thermostat to fluctuate during the day can often help you save energy, when the wind chill dips well below zero, Ian says you'll want to lock in your temperature.
"The furnaces are only designed to keep up until a certain negative degree," he said. "When the wind chill gets below negative 20 you actually end up with a situation where that furnace is not going to be able to overtake that temperature deficit. It will just run and run and run."
3. Take a (quick) walk outside
"One of the biggest reasons people have issues is just re-circulation of the exhaust. If anything covers the vent pipes, the furnace is going to kick off on a safety," Ian said. "So if you've got a sidewalk and you're snow blowing or you're shoveling, make sure you're keeping away from your vent pipes because it will shut your furnace off and you are the culprit in that sense."
BONUS TIP: Ian says it's important to schedule a professional furnace inspection, especially if you have any lingering concerns. If they point out any potential problem areas, he says now is the time to address them.
"The reason why we point things out during our inspections, is to avoid issues in these cold snaps that we have," he said. "Because this is the time that equipment is really going to fail."