If your furnace is vented through your basement wall to the outside, check and make sure the pipes are not plugged up with snow.
Your thermostat uses low voltage wiring and that is normal and not a cause for concern.
Check to make sure nothing such as furniture or curtains are blocking the vents. Make sure your furnace filter is clean and the dampers to each vent are open. Also shut down any registers in rooms that you do not use or are getting too much air flow. Finally, you may need to adjust your blower speed to a higher setting if it is a multi-speed blower motor.
Questions about AC
Air conditioners are made to be outside and do not need to be covered. However, if you wish to cover just the top that is fine. Do not wrap your AC completely as this will trap moisture inside and cause premature rusting. Also it could become an attractive home for critters to nest in and possibly cause damage to your AC by chewing the wires.
Keep your furnace filter clean, and wash down your outside AC unit to keep grass clippings and other debris cleared. Have your HVAC system professionally maintained to keep it running at peak performance and to save you money on operating costs throughout the year.
You may have Interruptible AC service from DTE. Check your meter to see if a red light is on.
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