Beat the cold- Heating and Cooling Kansas City

When we have prolonged sub zero temperatures, some homeowners may have trouble maintaining desired comfort levels in their homes without supplemental heat. Why are some homes uncomfortable? The engineering standard for sizing heating systems in the Kansas City metro area is 70 degrees indoors when it is 0 degrees outdoors for a 70 degree temperature difference. So if a furnace is sized exactly correct, it would be running 60 minutes out of every hour when the temperature is 0 outside and the thermostat inside was set at 70. Hence if it was -10 outside then the maximum temperature indoors would only be 60 degrees!

Two things help to prevent 60 degree homes. One is when the temperature dips below zero, it doesn’t normally stay that low very long. Our homes have thermal mass, which resists change and delays the drop in indoor temperature. The second thing is many heating systems are oversized so the heating output can maintain more than a 70 degree temperature difference.

So, what’s the safest way to heat your home in the bitter cold? The best supplemental heating source is a UL Listed electric space heater. We do not recommend using a fireplace for supplemental heating since heated indoor air will be going up the chimney and actually make the problem worse. Also, we do not recommend using an open oven door or stove (gas or electric) due to safety concerns of having these appliances on and often left unattended. You may think that shutting off less used rooms in your home is a good option, but you’d be wrong. That’s because even though you shut off the incoming air to that room, it still has a return air vent. That room becomes cold and that colder air is cycled throughout your home making your furnace work harder. One helpful action is for homeowners to heat the garage which helps cut the heat loss on any rooms adjacent to or above the garage. The best heat source for a garage is a gas-fired infrared heater.

If your home is cold, or you have some cold rooms, call us and we’ll come out and perform a free, no-obligation Energy Analysis. We can tell you if your system is running efficiently, if it’s properly sized for your home and show you ways to save money on your utility bills. Stay warm!