Cold Temperatures and Your Heating System

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Temperatures are expected to get colder as we head into the weekend, and there's one business that's booming because of the cold weather.

Thomas Moore with Riley Heating and Cooling in Phenix City, says this cold snap has their phones ringing off the hook.

"We're getting a lot of calls of people who want their furnace checked out to make sure it's operating properly or as it should so hopefully we can catch something before it fails on the coldest days," he says.

While the workers there suggest having a technician come out once a year to make sure everything is okay with your system, you can also help yourself.

"Keep your doors and windows closed, caulked, and weather-sealed," Thomas advises.

"Possibly put some towels down at the bottoms of the doors going outside to keep the cold air from coming in," he continued.

By blocking cold air from coming in, your heating system won't have to work as hard.

Another important tip:  Set your thermostat at 68 degrees.

Thomas says, "Sixty-eight degrees on a thermostat is the most energy efficient setting.  for each degree above costs more to run."

You may be keeping your system from working hard, but do you know what kind of system you have?

That's something Joey Hurd, the General Manager at Riley Heating and Cooling, wants everyone to know.

"People need to understand what type of equipment they have, whether it be gas, electric, or heat pump," he said.

All systems have air filters.  A dirty one is a common cause of your home not being heated efficiently.

"Most of the time, its filters that don't get changed," Joey says.

Thomas adds, "If the system can't bring air in through that filter, it can't push air out through the registers."

If you have a heat pump, when the temperature dips below 30 degrees, Thomas says,"it'd be a better idea to put your system in emergency heat mode and bypass the heat pump and run strictly off electric heat."

Other important tips are to make sure your heat pump has plenty of refrigerant, and if you have a gas appliance, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.