As the cold season approaches, it’s time to begin preparations to ensure that the season is spent in comfort and safety. By taking some time to prepare in advance, you’ll be more comfortable, less stressed, and possibly save money on your winter heating costs. In this article, we discuss six ways you can get your home ready for a long, cold winter.
1. Change Furnace Filters
The filter on your furnace catches airborne particles of dirt, dander, mildew and more. These are eliminated from the air in your home, creating pure air that’s safer to breathe. The filter also keeps these components from getting into your ductwork and causing clogs and problems.
A clogged filter is a common problem that causes a lack of airflow in your heating system. This makes the furnace work in overtime, raising bills and shortening the lifespan of the unit. Changing this filter once monthly in the winter keeps air flowing steadily and ensures a healthy living environment during a season where much of your time is spent indoors.
2. Get Your HVAC System Maintained
In order for your heating system to run as effectively as possible, it needs to be worked on about once a year. Fall is a great time to have this done, as it ensures a well-running furnace throughout the cold months of winter. These yearly tune-ups are sometimes overlooked by homeowners, but they’re an essential part of keeping your HVAC system healthy.
A trained technician will make adjustments to your heating system, as well as inspecting each part thoroughly for damage and signs of aging. Minor repairs will be made with your permission, and after that your system will be good to go for winter, with your warranty still intact.
Older homes are known for having drafts and air leaks. These drafts keep your home uncomfortable no matter how high you turn up the heat and place extra stress on your HVAC system. This in turn causes your winter heating costs to skyrocket and place a strain on your finances.
A simple solution to this problem is weatherproofing your house. Place caulk, insulation, or other weatherstripping material in cracks of doors and windows. Patch up any larger areas air leaks from as well, and consider having blown-in insulation added if you feel your home isn’t warm enough.
4. Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Still running your furnace using an old thermostat? You could save on your monthly heating bills and make your life more convenient by having a new programmable thermostat installed before winter comes. With these models, you can program your thermostat so it begins warming up your home half an hour before your alarm goes off. Your mornings will be warm and cozy instead of cold and miserable.
You can also have set schedules installed that know when you’re heading home from work, so the temperature can rise while you’re on your commute home. These settings allow you to use less energy when away, cutting those crazy high heating bills by a good margin.
5. Check Your Vents
Your vents can open and close. Some people believe that closing off vents to one room will help lower energy costs over winter, but in reality, all it does is offset the delicate airflow balance in your HVAC system. Instead, keep all vents open and free from blockages.
Before winter comes, take a walk through every room of your house. Locate all the vents and return registers and make sure no furniture is on top of them or within a foot of the vent. You may also vacuum these out to improve airflow and indoor air quality as part of your seasonal cleaning tasks.
6. Make Sure the Furnace Area Is Clean
Having objects too near your furnace puts your home at risk for fires and other troubles it’s better to avoid. Go to the room where your furnace is housed and make sure there is nothing up against the unit. Keep flammables far away or completely out of the room, including cardboard and old wood, paint, and old furniture. Dust the furnace itself and sweep the area around it as well.
At Climate Control, we’re proud to provide expert heating and cooling services to the Portland area. We offer a range of HVAC services, from repairs and installations to maintenance work and zone control. In addition, we also offer commercial HVAC services for those who need to keep their place of business safe and comfortable. Give us a call today and ask us about setting up your first appointment. We look forward to working with you!