Hot Tips for the Polar Vortex

Hot Tips for the Polar Vortex
Tips for surviving winter in your community association

The Polar Vortex is upon us, and the greater Chicago area will experience temperatures colder than Antarctica! Since most of us never see weather this severe, LMS would like to offer more tips to keep you and your home at peak efficiency and safety until the cold front passes. Stay safe!

Furnaces will be running almost constantly

  • Clear your heating vents, be sure the exterior exhaust vents are clear of snow and ice.
  • Replace Furnace Air Filters.

Boiler heating systems will also be running at the maximum capacity

  • If your unit is not reaching the desired temperature, there is nothing else that can be done.
  • Make sure your baseboard radiators clear of obstruction.
  • You may use a fan placed at the radiator to circulate air around the heat source.

Supplemental heat, drafts

  • It is not safe to get supplemental heat from your stove, oven or other appliance. Use an electric blanket or UL approved space heater.
  • This weather will test the best insulated homes, use blankets and towels at the doors and windows to cut down drafts

Frozen pipes

If you have never had an issue with frozen pipes before, you may now.

  • If the water stops flowing from any fixture, please contact us. Sometimes, the pipes will thaw on their own and create no additional damage and other times, the expanding frozen water in the pipes will burst the pipes and days from now when, when it they thaw, they create a flood.
  • To help to prevent frozen pipes: If you have bathrooms and sinks that are on or near exterior walls, such as mud rooms and kitchens, open the faucets to allow a trickle of cold water to flow through the faucet and flush the toilet frequently.

Ice damming

Even if you have never experienced ice damning before, you may now.

  • There is nothing that can be done to stop the leak at this time.
  • We know how that this advice seems archaic but, if you have a leak, poke a hole in the ceiling and put a bucket under it.
  • Notify management and we will send a roofer, but that may be weeks away. The crews cannot go up on the roofs when there is ice and the temperatures are this dangerous.
  • The leaking will stop once all of the ice melts and temperatures return to normal.


Every effort is being made to clear the snow

  • Most ice melting products simply stop working below -15 degrees
  • Please be careful out there.


Frost Bite

No matter how bundled up you are, this is not a time to be outside. It may take as little as 10 minutes to get frost bite this week! Signs and symptoms of frostbite include:

  • At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling
  • Numbness
  • Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
  • Blistering after rewarming, in severe cases

If you must go outside, be sure to breathe through your nose (thus warming the air before it gets to your lungs), and cover ever bit of bare skin.

Power failure

With all of our systems fully taxed in the most brutal of weather conditions, please be prepared for a power failure.

  • Flashlights
  • Have extra blankets
  • Identify Alternate shelter location

If you need to leave because of no heat:

If you need to leave your home in a power failure

  • If you know where your water shut off is (usually near the meter), shut the water off.
  • Then drain as much water as possible from the pipes, by flushing the toilets and opening faucets.
  • If you don’t know where the water shut off is:

Don’t leave the faucet running with no heat in your home.

  • Please notify LMS and be sure that LMS can contact you in an emergency.

Stay warm and safe!  Our office is open for regular business hours this week. You may reach us at 847-459-0000. If you have an emergency after hours you can reach us at the same number and our emergency answering service will assist you.