While high temperatures in Iowa should be back up in the 60s and 70s on Thursday, the bitter cold weather isn’t far behind. Many Iowans are winterizing their homes and North Iowa Area Community College climate control program instructor Tom Crowley says you likely don’t need to bother covering your air conditioner.
The unit is designed to be outside and is likely under an overhang to protect it from ice and snow. He says those A-C covers make a nice home for four-legged rodents, which may get inside the unit and chew on the wires. As for window air conditioners, Crowley says to pull them out of the window for the winter, or they may allow for icy drafts.
Iowans who have older furnaces might need to light the pilot light. It’s not that complicated, Crowley says, just follow the directions. If you’re not comfortable lighting the pilot, call in a professional. He says in newer units, the pilot light automatically comes on, but you should always have a clean air filter in any type of furnace. Crowley says having a humidifier in your home during the winter months can help save money — and make you feel warmer.
He says it can lower your heating costs while at the same time helping your skin stay moist. Crowley says the latest furnaces have on-board diagnostics that a climate control person can review, just like on a car, to see what problems a unit may be having.