Troubleshooting Tips for the Cold

winter troubleshooting

Winter temperatures are here and all hands are on deck at Oliver to handle any issues or emergency service calls you may have. If you have a problem, we’ll work hard to take care of it as quickly as we can, but in the meantime, here are a few tips that may help you:

Heat Pumps

If you have a heat pump and have noticed that your system is running constantly or in emergency mode and has switched to your backup method of heat, don’t worry. As long as your home is still being heated, this is not an indication that there is a problem with your heat pump. Heat pumps switch to their backup source when the outdoor temperature reaches the minimum that the unit is designed for. The standard minimum in our region is 14 degrees, which isn’t uncommon in the Northeast. If your heat pump isn’t running but your backup source is still providing heat, you don’t need to contact our emergency hotline. If you have no heat at all, however, then call us as soon as possible so we can assess the situation.


Your home’s pipes can be a hazard during the winter – if they get too cold, they can burst and cause major water damage to your home and throughout your property. If you’re traveling and won’t be home for awhile, prevent your pipes from freezing by opening your cabinet doors to help heat circulate to the pipes. Also leave your bathroom faucets running (just a trickle is fine) to keep water moving through the pipes.


If you have a humidifier and notice water and ice on your windows, turn the humidity setting below 15% or turn it off completely until the temperature returns above +25 degrees. Single-pane and some double-pane windows are not insulated, and the glass temperature can drop below 32 degrees and cause ice and water to form. If you need assistance finding a solution to this situation, you can schedule an appointment online for one of our experts to help.

Programmable Thermostats

If you have a programmable thermostat, you may be better off using a manual temperature setting during the extreme cold, as some systems will struggle to recover from a set back temperature. For instance, if you normally set the temperature at 68 when you are home and 62 when you leave the house or are sleeping, you may be better off leaving it at 68 to prevent uncomfortable conditions in your home, since your heater may take longer than usual to return to your desired temperature.

Space Heaters

If you’re using space heaters, use them with caution. Electric space heaters should be kept away from soft goods, curtains, furnishes, and any other flammable materials. They should also only be used when someone is in the room; if you leave the room, be sure to turn off the heater. In addition, you shouldn’t use a space heater while you’re sleeping.

If you have any other issue that you need assistance with, don’t hesitate to call our heating and cooling experts.

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