Do High Winds Cause Furnace Problems? | Heatmasters
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Can High Winds Cause Furnace Problems?

Published by Steven Weiland

Chicago isn’t the Windy City for nothing. The lakeshore effect can bring in cool breezes in the summer and harsh icy winds in the winter. When sitting at home with a warm gas furnace, you probably think you’re safe from these high winds. But did you know that those powerful gusts of wind can cause problems for your furnace?

Check out these ways heavy winds cause furnace problems.

How Wind Affects Your Furnace

Heavy winds can cause significant damage to your heating system, specifically to the air infiltration, exhaust flue, ignition, and filtration.

Drafts and Air Infiltration

High winds can create drafts around your home, and if there are gaps or cracks in your doors, windows, or walls, cold air can infiltrate your living spaces. Your furnace already works tirelessly to maintain a comfortable temperature, but it might work harder to counteract the cold air seeping in. The extra stress on your heating system also significantly increases your energy bills.

Blocked Exhaust Flue

Your furnace has an exhaust vent or flue that expels combustion gases safely outside your home. High winds can create pressure imbalances where the wind forces these gases back into your home. These pressure switches are dangerous, as they can expose you to harmful gases like carbon monoxide.

Pilot Light and Ignition Issues

High winds might blow it out if your furnace uses a pilot light, making your furnace struggle to reignite and heat your home. Modern furnaces with electronic ignitions can also face issues during strong winds, forcing them to use more energy to start up or stay operational.

Dirty Filters

High winds can bring dust and debris into your home, clogging your furnace’s air filters and reducing its efficiency. Overtime, clogged air filters can cause the furnace to work harder to push warm air through the blockage.

Preventive Measures

Here are a few steps you can take to safeguard your furnace from the impact of high winds:

  • Seal any gaps and cracks in your home to prevent drafts.
  • Install windbreaks or barriers to shield your furnace’s exhaust flue.
  • Keep spare pilot light components or ensure your electronic ignition system is well-maintained.
  • Regularly change or clean your furnace’s air filters.

High winds can cause furnace problems, primarily efficiency, safety, and longevity. By taking these preventive measures, you can ensure your furnace keeps your home warm and cozy, even when the winter winds are howling.

Strong wind on a house illustration.

Call Heatmasters for Professional Furnace Repair

If you have furnace issues because of the high winds, don’t wait until issues worsen. Call 773-777-5700 and ask about our expert furnace repair services. Our HVAC technicians are available 24/7 across Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

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