Harsh winter months are upon us – and you want your home to be warm, cozy and safe for you and your loved ones.
Here are some ways to ensure your home is warm throughout the winter:
Check Your Vents
Every heater service and repair technician can tell a story or two about a cold room that was nicely warmed by simply opening a register – so make sure you check all the vents in the room to ensure they’re open.
If you have rooms that you don’t use, don’t pay to heat them – keep the vents closed and doors shut.
Heat from the sun is free, so make the most of it by opening your curtains and letting the sunlight in during the day. On gloomy days and when it gets dark, close your curtains; this will act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth inside your rooms.
Install heavier drapes and a set of blinds, since thicker materials trap colder air between the fabric and the window; also, blinds will provide some insulation.
Rugs not only add style to a room, but they also do a good job of keeping your feet cozy if you have tile or hardwood flooring.
Check Your Dampers
Some ductwork contains dampers – check them to make sure they’re not restricting airflow to the rooms that need it. Look for handles and markings on the ductwork such as ‘summer’ and ‘winter’, and set the damper handle parallel to the duct line for maximum airflow.
If you have a fireplace, a loose damper can cause up to 20 percent of your home’s warm air to be lost through the leaks, and a fireplace plug can help seal the flue and keep that warm air in. Fireplace plugs come in different sizes, so check to see which size you need.
If the vents are blocked or covered with large furniture like sofas or beds, the heat will be absorbed into upholstery, leaving the rooms cold. If you have radiators and the airflow is obstructed, your heating system will need to works harder and will not heat your home as effectively. Make sure to keep furniture and long curtains clear of your heat delivery, so hot air can circulate freely around your rooms.
Around 25% of the heat is lost through the roof, which you can remedy by installing a layer of insulation throughout your loft.
About a third of the heat in a house that’s not insulated is lost through the walls – and cavity wall insulation could save you dollars in heating bills and keep the warmth inside your walls. Heat travels through drywall, and if the ceiling opens into an attic, the heat can escape there; simply fit a board to cover the gap and seal it with foam.
Cracked and broken HVAC ducts cause substantial energy loss, so repairing and insulating them can help improve efficiency. Start by replacing or sealing open or poorly sealed ducts. To maintain temperatures in the longer duct areas, add insulation around the ductwork. Proper sealing and insulating can save energy in warm and cold climates.
If you have a vaulted ceiling, the heat rises and the lower area cannot stay as warm. The heat is not lost, so if you have a ceiling fan there set it to fan air down and enjoy a warmer lower level of the room.
You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps, so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.
Another thing to consider is humidification of your home. Using your heater and humidifier in tandem will possibly help you save on your winter utility bills, since air with higher levels of water vapor will feel warmer than drier air at the same temperature.
Heating your home to a comfortable temperature will make the indoor air even drier, so if you are concerned about your health, the comfort of your home, and your bills, using humidifier is your best bet.
Block Out the Draft
Draft-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save you some energy money and provide a warmer feel for very little cost. Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are relatively cheap and easy to install. So, it’s worth getting those doors and windows sealed before winter properly kicks in.
A simple draft stopper can stop cold air from coming in under a door or window. Simply lay it in place wherever you feel a cold breeze.
Triple pane windows are the best way to prevent heat loss. At minimum, make sure you check for gaps or leaks along the edges of your existing windows and fill them in with caulk.
Also check all outside doors, and if you notice a draft when they are firmly shut, it’s time to replace the weather stripping. If the draft is coming in from under the door, install a brush to keep out cold air.
Proper insulation and sealing will help your HVAC system run much more efficiently and safely. Check seal ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump, and any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house – often, they are big energy wasters.
Check Your Thermostat
Make sure that your thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature and no one is turning it off, or down – it’s a simple fix, but many simply forget to pay attention to it!
Check the temperature setting, and ensure that it’s in ‘heat mode’ instead of A/C mode – another no-brainer, which actually happens often since new generation programmable thermostats are more complex and there’re more ways to mess them up.
New smart thermostats can also be controlled remotely – so you can turn on your heating on the way home via your smart devices, making it nice and toasty for you when you arrive.
Change the Furnace Air Filter
Your filters can get so saturated with dust and debris that they block the air from making it into your ducts, so you should be changing your air filter every three months if not more often.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know that your ceiling fan can also help with keeping your room warm during the winter? Since warm air rises, a fan can gently draw up the warm air and push it back down, circling the warm air around the room – all you have to do is switch the spinning direction, putting the fan on “reverse” (clockwise) on a low speed.
Ensure the longevity and proper operation of your system by.
Regular inspection and service of your HVAC equipment can improve efficiency of your system and comfort of your home.
In addition to a yearly tune-up, you can arrange for energy efficiency professionals to perform an energy assessment on your home.
Place your trust in UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing’s skilled HVAC contractors to ensure your heating system is operating at its best, and if you need a new one – we’ll make sure you’re getting the right system based on your budget, environment, and home needs.
Keep Comfortable All Winter Long – for heater service and repair, furnace replacement, and other heating solutions make an appointment today with the leading HVAC company serving in Lehigh Valley PA, Harrisburg PA, Lancaster PA, and Reading PA: