Are you ready for wool hats and cold nights? You better be, because winter is coming and it’s promising to be an unusually cold winter for the Tri-Cities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 40% chance that December through February will be colder than usual. In Kennewick, the average temperature December through February is a cool 28 to 29 degrees. For 2018, this could make staying warm a challenge.
The good news doesn’t stop there! NOAA is also predicting a higher chance of precipitation. A little science here, what do you get when you have precipitation at those temps? Yep, snow and ice; anyone remember that 2 feet of snow in January of 2017 that piled up everywhere?
Keeping a Home Warm in Very Cold Weather
Even though the weather outside will be frightful, inside, it can be delightful! Start with being honest about your current HVAC system. Most equipment is designed to last for 15 years. That being said, it does not necessarily mean that a 10 year-old unit which was installed improperly or not maintained can handle these extreme temperatures.
That’s why it becomes even more important to review your system’s performance. Your utility company will highlight your heating costs compared to neighbors in each statement. Look at the difference and talk with an HVAC contractor. It may be more cost-effective to install a new furnace than continue with an old system.
Before the snow falls and temperatures dip, review what’s new in heating technology. Do you have a heat pump? Better yet, do you know what a heat pump does? Radiant floor heating is also becoming more popular in homes. It can reduce your need to turn up the thermostat.
Other Tips to Winterize a Home
If you are handy and enjoy doing small DIY projects on your home, follow these tips to further prepare for a cold winter.
- Make sure to seal any areas where outside air could be entering your home. Remove and replace the worn caulk around the panes of windows and check weather stripping and thresholds at all doors. Do you have double pane windows? If not, this may be an investment that makes a huge difference. Find out about the varieties available and what to look for here.
- Consider rugs on cold surface floors such as tile. They will help trap the cold and dampness beneath them.
- High humidity will feel colder in low temps. Talk to your HVAC contractor, they can check humidity levels and suggest the best way to monitor and control it.
- Replace air filters regularly. Not only does this lengthen the life of your system, but it maximizes the air flow and allows a furnace to run more efficiently.
- Have your furnace serviced before the winter begins. There are things the average novice just cannot do as we transition into a colder seasons. Consider a service contract. These normally provide for scheduled maintenance, plus a discounted rate on service.
- Check your attic and make sure the insulation is distributed evenly and is at the right depth.