Queue flashbacks to polar vortex: time to get your home ready for cold weather

Queue flashbacks to polar vortex: time to get your home ready for cold weather
By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: December 4, 2019

As the colder months set in, it’s crucial to prepare your home to withstand the drastic plummets in temperature (key up the flashbacks to our last polar vortex). While many tend to take heating for granted, winter can produce an added strain on your home’s furnace and water heater. Mike and Audrey Krooswyk, owners of Regional Plumbing, Heating and Air, provide some of the telltale signs that your home needs some winter TLC before things get dangerous. 

Furnace care

Naturally, furnaces run for longer periods of time during the colder months. It’s wise to have consistent check-ups and cleanings, especially before it gets too cold out there and your furnace starts working overtime. 

“Yearly cleanings and checks will keep problems at bay, and keep your furnace running more efficiently,” Mike said. “This will lower energy bills and keep your entire home at an even temperature.”

Other parts of your house can factor into your furnace’s health, too, such as flues. Flues are pipes, ducts, or openings in chimneys that funnel gas exhaust to the outdoors from fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, boilers, or generators.

“It’s important to ensure the chimney flue is not blocked and that there is no ice build-up because these can cause furnace failure,” Mike said. 

Furnaces also require regular carbon dioxide (CO2) checkups. If your heater is making unusual clanking noises, emitting a smoky or gaseous odor, not producing airflow, or simply failing to heat like it used to, these are all signs that something is not working.

While most can expect to see a higher energy bill in winter, if the increase in your energy bill really raises an eyebrow, this can also be a sign that something is malfunctioning. When in doubt, call an expert.

Water heater care

Having your water heater fail on you is more than an inconvenience. From showering to doing laundry, the water heater is one of the most significant appliances in your home. And, yes, they also work harder in the cold months.

If your water heater is producing insufficient heat or not producing heat at all, these are obvious signs that your water heater needs maintenance. Other trouble signals include low water capacity, smelly or murky water, leaks, and banging/clanging noises. 

“[Water heaters] will snap and crackle when they are filled with sediment,” Mike said. “We flush them.”

Of course, if your water heater is more than a decade old and frequently breaks down, it’s probably time to consider a replacement. Despite the hesitancy that comes with that upfront cost, the money you would save in the long run with a new, energy-efficient water heaters would be more than worth the investment.

“Water heaters have a 10-year life expectancy,” Audrey said. “We replace and offer zero-percent financing and free estimates. We also carry Navien tankless systems - they never run out of hot water.” 

Regional Plumbing, Heating and Air also offers a service agreement that ensures your furnace, AC, and more run at top-notch level all year long. For just $189.00, the agreement includes a clean and check on each unit, priority service appointments, 25 percent off repairs, plumbing service discounts, increased home comfort and efficiency, and more.

Don’t wait until your house is turning into an ice cube in a snowstorm, or you’re standing in a freezing morning shower wishing you had made this appointment weeks ago. If any of these services or appliances sound right for you, visit https://www.rphnwi.com/.