JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- As arctic temperatures are set to hit the region later in the week- experts say now is the time to make sure your home is ready to keep you warm.
“If the outdoor unit is not running, the indoor unit may be running but it may be using all of your electric heater elements to heat the house. So you’ll get a big surprise when you get your power bill,” said Ed Ritsko, owner of Johnson City Heating and Air. “If it is one week’s worth of real cold single digits- you should expect at least a hundred-dollar increase on your electric bill.”
Before the freeze hits- it’s best to have a clean filter and coils on your HVAC unit, with the refrigerant level topped off, and to make sure any preventative maintenance is done before the weather hits.
“If it says 70 on the thermostat- set it up one degree, not two or three because that’s going to go ahead and cause your auxiliary heat to kick on which is then going to spin your meter faster which uses a lot more electricity,” said Ritsko. “Run it a little higher during the day so when the sun’s out helping warm things up, it can get ahead of the temperature a little bit.”
The subzero temperatures can also cause your pipes to freeze and then burst which could create a lot of damage and be costly.
“You could leave the water running in the furthest fixture away from the water main. You don’t want any drafts in your house,” said David Salts, the owner of David Salts Plumbing. “You want to close anything that can be a draft…. crawl space, vents… close them off.”
Ahead of the temperature dip- turn off your outside faucets and drain the water.
“If you’re in unheated areas- I would definitely recommend insulating these pipes,” said Salts. “It’s good to know where your main water shut-off is in case of an emergency. That way if you have a burst pipe you’ll know where to go to turn it off.”
Both Salts and Ritsko say preventative maintenance ahead of the cold weather is key to making sure you don’t have an emergency over the next few days.
But, if you think you need to have your home looked at ahead of time, you should do it sooner rather than later.