Why Your Furnace Can’t Keep Up in Extreme Cold Weather

extreme cold

Ottawa is cold. In fact, we often make the list for coldest capitals in the world. On those days where the mercury drops way below zero, you might find that the house has trouble maintaining the temperature you set due to the extreme cold.

If properly sized and installed, your furnace should operate normally for the majority of the winter. Furnaces are sized according to the average temperature in the area, so as long as we have normal winters, your heating system should keep up. However, if we experience an extreme cold weather event, and it’s colder than normal, you might notice that the furnace is continually running, but it never reaches the desired temperature.

If this happens, do not turn up the thermostat. Increasing the temperature will not warm up your home, but will just cause the furnace to run longer. Instead, we recommend using a secondary heat source like a fireplace or putting on additional layers. Once the extreme cold weather event ends, your furnace will operate normally.

To help keep your furnace operating at peak efficiency during extreme cold weather events, follow these tips:

  • Insulate – A properly insulated house will help keep the heat in and the cold out. Make sure to check weatherstripping around windows and doors and that there is enough insulation in the attic.
  • Check Furnace Filter – Running the furnace with a dirty filter can not only decrease indoor air quality, but it can also lower the efficiency of the system (or cause it to turn off completely). Check filters monthly and replace/clean as needed.
  • Check Intake and Exhaust Pipes – After a snowfall, make sure that these exterior pipes are not obstructed by snow and clear them if they are.

If you’re worried about your heating system or have questions about upgrading to a new furnace, don’t hesitate to contact Team Harding to schedule a free, no-obligation quote.

Team Harding has been Ottawa’s leading home comfort specialist since 1994. We are a family-owned and operated local business providing furnace installation, repair and maintenance services from Renfrew to Prescott to Russell.

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