Do Furnaces Work Harder in Colder Weather?

You know those days in Southeast Michigan when the weather isn’t fit for anything but staying indoors and reading a good book or napping. Cold temperatures that make your teeth chatter, slippery ice and snow – and if you don’t have a garage, scraping ice from the windshield as you try to get the door open.

Even then, you wonder if your vehicle will start up or if it does, whether it will keep running until you get to your destination and back. When temperatures drop to single digits or even below zero, does it make your furnace work harder as well?

Your Furnace Doesn’t Work as Hard When Temperatures are in the Deep Freeze

For most people, it makes sense that when temperatures are moderate on winter days (30 or 40 degrees), the furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to keep their homes comfortable. It doesn’t run non-stop, so that must be easier on it, right?

No. The fact is, it’s easier on the furnace when it does run for a longer, sustained period of time. Think about your vehicle; constant starts and stops cause wear and tear on many of the components. If you’ve ever checked your gas mileage after driving at a constant speed on the interstate vs. driving in the city at various speeds with lots of slowing at stoplights before accelerating back up to speed, you know gas mileage is better on the interstate or highway.

Your furnace works in much the same way; when temperatures plummet to zero or colder, it runs for a more extended period to make your home comfortable. When temperatures are 30 or 40 degrees, an average for SE Michigan, the furnace doesn’t kick on all that often and runs just a short time before shutting off again.

It’s late winter now, and most of us enjoy the sunshine that warms up our homes during the daylight hours in February and March. The furnace doesn’t run too often once the sun is up in the sky and coming through the windows while heating the roof, siding, and other components. Once it starts getting dark and the sun sinks below the horizon, it’s a different story – the furnace goes back to work again. It’s those stop-and-go days when temperatures are moderate that is really hard on your furnace.

When temps are frigid during the day, so cold you don’t even want to open the door let alone step foot outside; it is a good day for your furnace! There is nothing better for it than running in long stretches when it comes to extending the life of the motor and other components.

Have questions about your furnace or heating system? Give the Ann Arbor heating experts at Haley Mechanical a call today. Creating comfortable indoor weather is our business!