Greater Cincinnati homeowners are no strangers to the cold winter weather, but is your furnace ready for another polar vortex? A polar vortex occurs when high-pressured fronts move into the North Pole, forcing a large, low-pressure, cold pocket of air to move south and dip into the warmer climates. Polar vortices are strictly cold fronts – they do not bring snow or rain with them but tend to coincide with winter weather and storms making a normal snowfall more dangerous if you are caught outside.

When extreme winter conditions affect your home, such as a polar vortex or other winter weather, it is important to ensure your heating system is properly working to keep the warm, cozy air inside and the cold air outdoors.  How can you keep your furnace ready for another shockingly cold spell?  

Start here: all furnaces, no matter their age, have a defrost cycle. On older modules, it is set by a mechanical timer while newer units are controlled by temperature sensors.  It is incredibly important to make sure the defrost cycle is working. Even though polar vortices are strictly cold weather fronts the extreme cold can cause any moisture in the air to freeze up. This defrost cycle will periodically go on and help defrost your system to keep it from freezing over and unable to run. If you notice the defrost cycle is not working, it is most likely due to an internal problem and you need an HVAC technician to inspect it.

Secondly, your HVAC system will be running continuously to keep up with the demands of the difference in temperatures outside versus inside.  To help keep your furnace from overheating, it is always recommended to check your filters monthly to make sure they stay free of clogs, and during these types of weather patterns your HVAC system will benefit from weekly filter inspections. Be sure to double check for any obstructions to your vents, whether it’s furniture or window treatments, move them away from the vent so the air doesn’t get trapped or have difficulty reaching the rest of the room.

A final easy step you should be taking is testing the batteries of your carbon monoxide alarm and if you don’t have one get one. Your Apollo technician will check for carbon monoxide and gas leaks, inspect and adjust the gas pressure and test and adjust the safety controls when performing routine maintenance to prepare your HVAC system for whatever winter weather the Cincinnati area has to throw at you.


If your furnace decides it can’t go on, we also offer emergency service. Please don’t hesitate to call, particularly during the winter weather. Our technicians are continuously trained and stock a comprehensive inventory of parts on their trucks to fix any problems with one visit. Ready to schedule your tune-up? Call Apollo Home Electrical, Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been assisting Greater Cincinnati homeowners with their furnace maintenance needs since 1910 and are eager to assist you!