In the next few days, we all will experience temperatures and wind chills that our homes’ heating systems in the Des Moines area are NOT designed for. -20 to -30-degree temperatures with wind chills into -40 and down to the -50s! Newer homes will struggle to maintain temperature and older homes will NOT maintain temperature—the temperature WILL drop while the heating system is working at full capacity. Here are some helpful tips to make the next few days a little more bearable.
1. Please raise the temperature in your home on Monday, 2 to 4 degrees above your normal setting.
2. Take all programmable thermostats out of setback mode and set on a permanent HOLD.
3. If you have a furnace, replace the filter.
4. Keep garage doors closed.
5. Limit opening of exterior doors.
6. Make sure air vents and radiators are not blocked or obstructed.
7. If you have a 90%+ furnace and boiler, you must keep the intake and exhaust clear of ice and snow. During these cold temperatures, ice can build up. A 90%+ furnace or boiler has 2 white PVC pipes—an exhaust pipe and an intake pipe—that are generally on the side or back of your home. In some instances, they are on your roof. Do NOT go on your roof to clear the pipe.
If the temperature in your home is dropping and your radiators are HOT with boiler systems or you have HOT air coming out of your vents with furnaces, DO NOT PANIC. Please make sure that your heating system continues to operate. If the temperature drops in your home, it will not be able to recover until temperatures rise and the windchill diminishes. Our heating systems cannot overcome temperatures -20 to -30 with wind chill down to the -50s. They are sized to operate at 0 degrees outdoor. Put your thermostat on hold at 70 degrees or higher. To help minimize temperature loss you can boil water, make soup, or stews; this helps to introduce humidity and warmer temperatures into your home.
DO NOT USE YOUR OVEN or a GRILL TO HEAT YOUR HOME. Please check on neighbors and elderly residents during these extreme temperatures. Stay warm and safe this week and share this information with any of your family and friends. The key is to NOT panic with falling temps inside your home if you have heat coming out of your registers. It is doing all it can. Stay safe and bring your pets inside.