How Long Can a Furnace Run in Extreme Cold Weather?


how long can a furnace run in extreme cold

Do you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall and temperature drop? Your furnace might not be able to keep you warm if it doesn’t run continuously.

You might be wondering, how long can my furnace run continuously in winter?

Your furnace can run continuously throughout the night during winter. But you should check your furnace size and heating capacity if you face problems. Incorrect thermostat settings can cause overheating. Check for faulty ductworks and dirty air filters before winter to avoid issues.

Are you still a little unsure? Chill out! We have prepared a detailed article on this subject just for you.

Is There a Limit to How Long Your Furnace Can Run?

Chilly Winter winds mean you’ll be turning up the heat more frequently. Personal preference will determine when to turn on the furnace. However, when the heat inside drops to less than 65 ℉, we advise turning on the heater.

On a normal thermal cycle, the time the radiator should be kept on is between 10 and 20 minutes. If your property has average insulation, your furnace may need to cycle on and off several times every hour to maintain your optimum temperature.

If you live in an area that experiences a more significant drop in temperature at night, you should consider turning on your thermostat earlier in the day. Otherwise,  it’ll take a long time for the whole house to get warm.

If you have patients, older folk, or kids in your home, you should install a good thermostat. You’ll need to frequently adjust the temperature.

Your furnace shouldn’t run continuously all the time because there are many things that could go wrong. Doing it can put unnecessary strain on the motor. As a result, it will turn out badly sooner than usual.

Never leave the furnace fan running unattended if your home has vents in the cellar or if the ducts have leaks. Ultimately, in such a scenario, letting the fan run continuously will cause system failure.

What Wintertime Factors Influence the Performance of a Furnace?

It is possible to increase the efficiency of your furnace by giving it routine maintenance on an annual basis. Energy costs will be drastically reduced, and potential dangers eliminated.

We’ve compiled a list of issues known to cause havoc with your heating systems during winter. Let us have a look at them!

1. Furnace Size & Heating Capacity

The furnace’s heating capacity is the primary concern during the colder months. On the other hand, a furnace that is either too large or too small will heat the room either too quickly or too slowly. It’s a double-edged sword, because both excessive and inadequate heating are problematic.

There is a risk of overheating if your home is heated by your furnace and then left unused for long periods of time. If this happens, your furnace may turn off unexpectedly and the regular heating cycle will be disrupted.

Then again, if your room temperature stays low, the furnaces will cycle on and off to keep you comfortable. This never-ending cycle might point to a more significant issue, so you can’t ignore it if it keeps happening.

So, you should buy a furnace that suits the place where you’re residing. In this way, the furnace will work to its fullest without having a problem.

2. Incorrect Thermostat Settings

Adjusting the thermostat properly can be a cost-effective way to extend the life of your heating system. Putting your thermostat down by two or three degrees can save power and make your furnace work less hard.

Therefore, in order to properly incorporate your thermostat, you will need to determine the temperature setting at which you are most comfortable living. This manner, the system keeps you comfortable and saves you money by regulating the heat based on the time of day.

Adding a smart thermostat can further increase your system’s efficiency. With these kinds of thermostats, you can use an app on your phone to set the heat.

3. Insulation Problems

Your home’s insulation acts as a barrier and traps the warm air that your heating system produces. The efficiency of your furnace is reduced if it has to put more effort to heat a house that is poorly insulated.

A good amount of insulating materials should be in your walls. Keep in mind that the floor of the attic needs to be well insulated too.

4. Clogged Air Filters

When the air filter gets clogged with dust, the HVAC unit has to push extra to move the air. If your furnace’s heating element doesn’t get enough air, it can get too hot. This happens because the furnace can’t control its temperature without a steady flow of air.

In the winter, your furnace is already working overtime. If you don’t clean it, you’re putting unnecessary stress on it.

Every three months, you should inspect your filter to see if it has become dirty and needs to be replaced. However, if you have furry companions, you should check it every other month.

5. Old & Improper Ductwork

Ensure that all of the outdated or inadequately sealed ducts are being taken care of. In this way, you’ll  avoid having heated air escape through drafty doors and windows.

While you’re at it, inspect the ductwork of the furnace. If it’s not built right and has holes, air from your furnace won’t be able to move through the vents and into your house.

If your ductwork is damaged, the furnace will have to work twice as much to keep the rooms warm. Now, when the furnace works too hard, your heating phases will be messed up. And you’ll notice that they’ll either last too long or too short.

6. Heat Exchanger Problems

The air going into your furnaces is heated by the heat exchanger. The air will not be heated as effectively if the heat exchanger is compromised or not operating correctly.

So, before winter arrives, inspect your furnace’s heat exchanger. Otherwise, you risk becoming stranded in the cold.

All these factors influence the heating capacity of your furnace during the winter. If these issues are fixed, your furnace can run overnight without losing heat in any area of your house.

How Long Would a Furnace Need to Heat Homes?

Answer: It will take up to an hour for your furnace to raise the interior temperature by 3 to 4 degrees. This will depend on the size of the house and how old the heater is.

What Furnace Setting Should I Use to Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Answer: The ideal temperature to avoid frozen pipes is 70 degrees. Even in freezing weather, setting your thermostat to 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit will keep your pipes from freezing.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how long can a furnace run in extreme cold. Double check all to ensure all the windows are properly locked and the area underneath the doors are sealed.

Just a suggestion: arrange an energy audit or conduct a DIY evaluation to assess the efficiency of insulation in your home.

Best of luck with your maintenance work!

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Dale Carnegie

Hey! This is Dale Carnegie. I am a professional and expert in electrical work. From teenage till now, I found myself fascinated with the nitty-gritty installation and electrical works at home. Eventually, this led me to share about my journey and solve your electrical task of installing and maintaining power systems. With my experience and practice, I can guarantee you will get the best advice here. Stay tuned for more latest updates and sneak peeks of any electrical solutions for your home.

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