With colder weather quickly approaching, now is the time to start thinking about “winter proofing” your home. Temperatures are gradually falling with each passing day. It’s evident, especially in the winter mornings, when you have to wake up a few minutes early to defrost your car windows. During this time of year, even getting out of bed can be a little difficult, since it’s always warmer under the covers.
But with winter eminently approaching, it’s best to be prepared ahead of time. Here are some great tips to help make your home more energy efficient, warm, and as cost efficient as possible.
Now the question is, “How do I make my home more energy efficient?”
When a home is energy efficient, less energy is required to keep your appliances running smoothly. Heating and air units, as well as outside temperatures, play a huge role in this process. If colder air is present, your heating unit has to work harder to warm your home to the desired temperature your thermostat is set at. (Imagine the work it has to do when it’s 32 degrees outside and your thermostat is set to 68 or higher.)
If there is a blockage that’s not allowing your heater to blow warmer air throughout your home, your heat unit has to work even harder. The harder your heating unit works, the more you have to PAY in electricity bills. And we all would love to spend less on our electricity bills.
It starts with conserving and maintaining your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system … similar to the preventive maintence performed on a car. Think about getting an oil change. Changing the oil helps maintain a good condition with your engine, conserving the life of your car. And thus conserving the conditions of your heating system will probably be the ultimate way to winter proof your home.
With this in mind, pay close attention to the follow list of one-time items, as well as regular preventative items which are beneficial towards weather-proofing your home.
Clean and Cover Your HVAC Unit
Here’s are some easy tips to help conserve and protect your HVAC unit…
Throughout the year, debris such as twigs, leaves, dirt, branches, etc. can get trapped inside of your HVAC unit. Use your garden hose to spray down your unit, removing the debris. While cleaning your heating unit, visually make sure the outside of your heating unit isn’t damaged. If you see a tear or hole in your heating unit, contact your local HVAC repairman to inspect the damages.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, allow the unit to dry completely. After your heating system has dried, use a HVAC unit cover to protect it from precipitation and freezing temperatures. These covers are typically inexpensive, around $20-30 depending on the brand and size, but it’s a great investment.
One last thing before you’re finished … if you used your hose to clean your HVAC unit, make sure to drain it and put in storage. Freezing temperatures could cause the residual water inside the hose to freeze and potentially damage the hose.
Check for Air Leaks from Doors and Windows
Here’s a tip that can save you some money on your electric bill. Remember, if cold air comes through your doors and windows, your heating system has to work harder to maintain a warm and cozy temperature. Try these two techniques to test for air leaks throughout your homes.
On a cold day with the heat turned on inside your home, place your hand over the edges of your doors and windows. If you feel cold air, than there’s a leak.
To identify smaller leaks you can use a lighted candle. After the candle is lit, walk around you home placing the candle near potential air leaks. If the light on the candle begins to dance, you probably have a leak.
Once the leaks are identified throughout your home, you can go by your local hardware store and pick up caulk, sealant, tape, etc. Your choices for covering these holes are dependent on size of the hole, and where the hole is located. Any hardware store technician can provide you with the best choice for covering your air leak.
Change the Air Filter
Here’s another easy tip to help conserve the life of your HVAC system and reduce your electric bill. Your heating unit generates warm air and pushes that air throughout your home. This air passes through the air ducts and to the individual rooms of your home. Air filters are located at the outlet of your home’s air ducts. Over time, hair, dirt and other debris can clog your air filter. These filters maintain the quality of your air by removing bacteria and harmful germs from the warm air that enters your rooms. Clean filters also allow your heating system to run more efficiently, reducing energy bills and potential repair costs. Having a clogged filter causes your HVAC to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. So, in order to lower your electric bill and conserve the life of your heating system, replace air filters every 3 months. You can stop by your local hardware store with the measurements of your air ducts, and select the air filter that best fits.
What More Tips? Need Help? Contact the Local Pros!
These easy tips can provide you with the confidence to prepare your home for the upcoming winter season, while saving money and conserving the life of your HVAC unit. For more tips or to schedule an appointment to ensure your unit is running at optimal performance, visit the trusted professionals at Columbia SC Heating and Appliance Repair.
Columbia SC Heating and Air has been a staple in Columbia for providing excellent service in HVAC Repairs and Installation. Over the years they have gained a lot of technical experience with not only repairs and installations, but also with customer satisfaction. After they install your unit, they will sit down and discuss ways to prolong the life of your systems. Feel free to email them at [email protected] or call them at 843-203-9264.