Every great musician or band has a ‘greatest hits’ album that you can’t help but tap your feet to. We would like you to think of this article as our ‘greatest hits’ for keeping your family warm in the winter. We have lots of tips and pointers, but these are the ones that we return to again and again.
TRACK 1: Don’t Skip Annual Maintenance
The heater is running fine. No need for a yearly maintenance visit, right? Wrong! Annual maintenance must be done on your system to ensure maximum efficiency. You also want to get ahead of potential issues before they become a serious problem.
TRACK 2: Keep Cold Air OUT
Shut the door! Of course, leaving a door or window open will result in cold drafts into your home, but the real concerns are things that cause constant air leaks into your home. Things like gaps in doors, floors, and windows, and insufficient insulation add up to high energy costs and a cold house. Add weather stripping and address poor insulation. You’ll be amazed at how much warmer your home is in winter.
TRACK 3: Change Your Air Filter
A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure. Why? A dirty filter limits airflow into your HVAC system’s air handler. This restricted airflow places additional pressure on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor, which can cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.
Change your air filters once a month. Filters should be changed more frequently if you have children, pets, or someone living in your home who has respiratory difficulties.
TRACK 4: Find Your Owner’s Manual
Owner’s manual? Didn’t that come in the box with a bunch of other papers and plastic? Chances are you’ve already thrown it away, misplaced it, or buried it at the bottom of your junk drawer. But never fear! Most manuals are now easy to find online. Check out any tips and pointers that the manual recommends for your particular thermostat and furnace. The solution to your problem could be just a mouse click away.
TRACK 5: Don’t Let Your Damper be a Downer
Gas and wood fireplaces are the most inefficient heat sources you can use in your home (U.S. Department of Energy). The reason? Your fireplace damper. If your damper is open or unsealed, heated air goes up the chimney, and cold outside air is sucked in to replace it.
If you are going to use your fireplace, be sure to do the following:
TRACK 6: Strategically Open and Close Your Curtains
Open your curtains during the day to let in sunlight and heat and close them as soon as the sun sets. Take it one step further and hang thicker curtains or even invest in curtains with a thermal lining to keep the cold out.
TRACK 7: Find the Correct Humidity Level for Your Home
After temperature, humidity is the most important factor in determining your family’s comfort level. The humidity level in your home affects how hot or cold you feel. A whole-house humidifier is the most efficient way to find the perfect balance of humidity in your home. Whole-house humidifiers work with your existing heating and cooling system to add the just-right amount of moisture into the air.
Maybe our ‘Greatest Hits’ isn’t as exciting as a Beatles or Bob Marley album, but if you listen to our ‘album,’ you’ll stay warm all winter long.