Q: I see it’s getting cold next week; will it be as bad as Chicago last week?
A: As much as I would like it to be 30 below because that is sooo good for business, it will probably fall well short of that. Also, being trained in the finer points of heating and air conditioning I find it best to stay out of weather predictions. I do feel for those folks as extremes in any situation can be challenging except as it pertains to Doritos. No, I believe we will get just a small taste of what they experienced but being in the west we thrive on adversity, embrace it really, grab your boot straps and go for it. While you may loathe the approaching storm, or cold front, or final exam, all these experiences can be revealing of our metal, our resolve, or our total inability to cope.
That was yesterday but now we have decided to await the winter weather with gusto and cherish the driving snow as if it were a new born baby. Let it howl (the baby or the storm) as this time you are prepared mentally, philosophically, and mechanically. You finally found the owner’s manuals for your furnace and have settled in to take in every last specification. The anticipation seems overwhelming as you delve into all the things you never knew or cared about, until it got cold! How often should I have AirWorks maintenance our heater? Annually you say, well we better make up for the last ten years and give them a call. We have to change the filter that often? Does that have anything to do with the low airflow and dust in the house? Honey, it says here we can’t store gas cans in front of the furnace, or batteries, or flammables, or cat boxes (actually cat boxes are not prohibited, just a really bad idea). Didn’t you close all the vents upstairs, or was it downstairs? It says here, don’t do that. Oh really, you think you know more this this manual? That is so typical.
She is right you know, about everything don’t ya know. For those lucky enough to own a heat pump please have some respect for heat transfer, especially when it’s frigid. We are pulling heat right out of the air (don’t ya know) and condensing that heat energy to condition your home. Pretty amazing technology (DYK) that still works in sub-zero temps despite the obvious drawbacks. For goodness sakes go outside and see how it’s dealing with the cold. You should put a coat on, but make sure the unit isn’t coated with ice and snow. All outside heat pumps will frost up and generally, within 45 minutes go through defrost and wa-la, clean coil. However, this won’t last and the colder the outside temperatures the more often defrosting is required. This is one of the reasons the co-op requires you to retain some electric resistance heat even after installing a heat pump. Yes, the unit will run at 10 below zero (amazingly enough) but the number of defrost cycles diminishes the heat output to a point where some extra help is required.
No matter what keeps you warm; furnace, boiler, geo-thermal heat pump, air-air heat pump, ductless heat pump, or your partner in crime, take care of it, him, her, and the cold snap will be an enjoyable challenge. If you need heating help please give AirWorks a call at 257-1341 just don’t ask us about the weather (your guess is as good as ours).