Temperatures are dropping and it is getting cold in some parts of the country. If you are in one of these cold weather states, it is likely that you have already begun, and possibly even completed, your winter preparations. One of the most important winter preparations is getting the house ready. You have to face cold weather as you get in and out of your car. If you use public transportation, you could be forced to withstand the cold for many hours. Your home is your warm refuge and you want to make sure it is heating efficiently.
Check your window and door efficiency
Even minor cracks or the smallest of holes can result in large heat losses. You can check your windows and doors by feeling for drafts. Even new windows can be inefficient if they were not properly installed. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. You simply add some caulk to the parts of the window that are leaking heat. If the problem is underneath your door, you can place a door stopper or heat holder in front of the main doors. These minor and easy solutions can significantly improve the heat efficiency of your house.
Clean out your air ducts
If your air ducts are dirty and full of debris, the heat has a hard time making it into your house. When it does, you are left with a reduced air quality. This can lead to breathing difficulties and sensitivities. Contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated five to seven times per day. Over time, this recirculation will cause a buildup in the ductwork, harming resident?s health and reducing heat efficiency. In addition to routine air inspections and AC duct repairs, regular duct cleaning services are also necessary. Even the best insulation materials need to be cleaned regularly. As a general rule, homeowners should have air ducts cleaned every three to five years for maximum cooling and heating efficiency.
Check your attic insulation
Attics can cause a lot of heat loss in the winter months. Heat tends to rise and if your attic is not properly insulated, you could lose hundreds of dollars of heat each month. In addition to initially properly insulating attic ceilings, it is important to regularly inspect them. The insulation can wear down over time and best insulation practices are continually changing. The best insulation material twenty years ago, for example, is not what is recommended today for insulation.
Every couple of years it can be helpful to add insulation or change the insulation in your attic. Good insulation can reduce the cost of heating and cooling by over 40%. Work with your local insulation company on choosing the best insulation material for your house. There are many different types of attic insulation available, so it is important that you choose the best insulation material for your type of attic.
Evaluate your heating system, as a whole
Because there are many components that make up the efficient heating, it is necessary to evaluate the heating system as a whole. Instead of scheduling a single HVAC inspection, schedule a whole home heating efficiency inspection. This inspection will provide you with valuable information about how efficient or inefficient your heating system is. The report can provide you with information including improvement and upgrade recommendations. These recommendations will get you closed to total efficiency.
This winter, many Americans will run their furnaces for a good portion of the season. Before you leave your furnace running and throw out your hard earned money due to inefficiencies, evaluate your current heat system. Make any necessary repairs and upgrades and schedule any cleanings. You are likely to notice a decrease in home heating bills and your house will be warm and cozy, all winter long.