Simple steps to keep your furnace functioning during extended cold snap

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many homeowners are getting stuck in the cold as this extended cold snap gives furnaces a workout.

“We should be used to it but it’s always a bit of a shock,” Waterbury Service Technician Brandon Cates said.

The cold weather is not only a shock to our system, it can also put quite the strain on your furnace.

“They’re working extremely hard this time of year to keep your home warm,” Cates said.

Cates is seeing an increase in service calls during this cold snap with more furnaces breaking down.

“A lot of it could be maintenance issues, furnace filters, a lot of people tend to forget that they have furnace filters that need to be changed on a regular basis,” Cates said.

Regularly replacing your filter could cost anywhere from $5 to $20 or more for specialized filters each time you change it, but it’s a lot less than bringing out the experts every time there’s a problem.

“A standard service call for us is $105,” Cates said.

Cates says you can save yourself that bill by making sure you replace your filter at least every 30 days, or even more often depending on your home.

“Really based on the activity in the home and pets definitely take a toll on the filters with hair,” Cates said.

If you’ve changed your filter and your furnace doesn’t seem to be functioning properly, you can also check for issues outside.

“Checking your venting, if your furnace is vented out of the side of the house and we get any type of snowfall, if there’s drifting or ice build-up you want to keep that clear,” Cates said.

It’s also possible that larger elements like your furnace motor could be wearing out, problems that become much more noticeable in the extreme cold.

“When it’s milder out, you may not notice it, but when we have these extended run periods due to the cold weather, we may see extended issues,” Cates said.

If your furnace does go out this week, Cates says it won’t take long for the temperature in your home to drastically drop.

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