Keeping your home comfortable during the winter months can be an expensive task if you don’t make the proper preparations before the worst of the weather hits. The following tips can help get your home ready for winter and reduce home heating costs and energy usage.
Have your HVAC system serviced: Make an appointment with your HVAC contractor to have the heating system inspected and serviced as soon as possible. Routine maintenance, such as replacing the air filter, cleaning the blower fan, inspecting the electrical connections and lubricating moving parts, can help to keep the system running efficiently and safely, while preventing problems in the future.
Check the air filter regularly: At least once a month during the heating season, inspect the air filter and clean or replace it when it’s dirty or clogged. Dirty air filters can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies, as well as reduce the service life of your home’s heating system.
Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat has fresh batteries, if required, and that it’s set for winter temperatures. If it’s a programmable model, reduce the temperature a few degrees while you’re sleeping or away from home to save up to 20 percent on heating bills. Seal air leaks and insulate: Use caulk and weather stripping to prevent air leaks around doors, windows, pipes and other penetrations in the exterior walls. If your windows aren’t insulated, add storm windows or plastic sheeting to reduce heat loss. Check the insulation levels in your home, especially the attic, and add more, if necessary.
Reduce water heater temperature: A temperature of 49 degrees will provide sufficient hot water for most households, while reducing energy usage compared to the typical factory setting of 60 degrees. Add an insulating blanket to increase your energy savings even further.