12 tips for keeping your family warm and safe at home during extreme weather

12 tips for keeping your family warm and safe at home during extreme weather

139716013 (2)Frigid weather and snow are here and can be dangerous. Here are twelve tips for keeping your family warm and safe during extreme weather conditions.

  1. Set your thermostat a couple of degrees warmer than normal prior to the extreme weather and leave it there. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to put it in the ‘HOLD’ position to prevent it from setting back at night. You can expect your unit to run non-stop until temperatures even out again.
  2. Lower your expectations about what to expect from your heating system. Your system was designed based on 97.5% of the 100-year average winter temperatures for Dayton. This allows it to run more efficiently during normal weather. If we get extreme weather you will not be able to maintain normal indoor temperatures until outdoor temperatures moderate.
  3. If you have a heat pump system be sure NOT to switch your thermostat to the Emergency Heat setting. Contrary to what you’ve heard, heat pumps (with electric furnaces) were designed to operate whatever the outdoor temperature may be. Switching to Emergency Heat will shut off the outdoor unit and actually decrease your system’s total heating capacity.
  4. If you have a humidifier with a manual humidistat, you need to reduce the humidity setting as the temperatures fall. Unfortunately you will have to have very low settings for this weather so your windows don’t sweat and do doing damage to your home.
  5. Shut off registers to unused rooms that do not have any plumbing.
  6. For heat pump owners, keep blowing and drifting snow away from your outdoor unit.
  7. If you have a high-efficiency furnace, keep snow away from your vent coming from the side of your house.
  8. Consider supplemental electrical heating units, such as space heaters, for occupied rooms. However, always make sure to follow manufacturer safety recommendations. Explore safety options before purchasing one that is good for your home.
  9. Consider doing some baking. Sweet treats can help improve mood and using your stove may raise the temperature in the kitchen.
  10. Protect your plumbing by slightly turning on faucets that are exposed to outside walls. If you plan to leave for vacation be sure to turn off the main water supply to your house and have someone check on your home while you are gone.
  11. Make sure wood burning fireplace dampers are closed when not in use. Note that some gas and wood burning fireplaces may heat one room while robbing heat from the rest of the house. Others are designed to heat and will help you maintain heat.
  12. If you do lose heat please use common sense and be safe. Worst case; drain and winterize your plumbing to prevent it from freezing and bursting.
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