That time of year has come again, and keeping your home warm in the winter is important. Below are a few tips, tricks, and strategies to consider as the temps drop well below freezing.
If you haven’t yet, make sure your pipes are winterized, especially your water spigots, sprinkler systems, and any pipe that might be exposed to colder weather.
Also, this is a great time to call an HVAC technician to come and do a tune-up on your system, just to make sure. But there are quite a few things you can do yourself to get your home ready for those long, cozy, winter nights.
Keep your furnace filters fresh
It’s an easy one to miss, but keeping those furnace filters fresh and clean can make all the difference. They will help keep the air quality up, your HVAC running smoothly, and keep the heat flowing like it should. When a filter clogs up, it becomes difficult for the system to breathe. Imagine putting a blanket over your mouth and breathing…it’s not so easy.
Seal windows and doors
If there’s one thing that can make keeping your home warm, it’s leaks in doors and windows. Even small gaps between a door and its seal can create quite a draft and ruin your efforts. Take time to find out where those leaks are and replace any caulking or weather stripping you need to. And if those drafts are just a bit too big for you, try using a blanket along the base of the door to help block out the cold.
Use a damper if you have a fireplace
Unless you have a fire burning, consider using a damper to help cut down on heat loss through your fireplace. It’d be like keeping a window open otherwise.
Keep empty room doors closed
Just like turning off a light will save electricity, keeping doors closed on those winter days will help eliminate wasted heat. If you have rooms that never or rarely get used, close the HVAV vents and shut the door. This will help keep the heat in the part of the home that is most used and keep costs down.
Set your thermostats correctly
It can be tempting to keep the heat up, just like those warm summer months. But doing so will also keep your heating bill up. This is definitely a preference, but consider lowering your thermostat one or two degrees in the winter, especially at night if your thermostat is in a room that has no activity at night.
Also if you’re traveling, make sure to keep your heat on! It’s okay to let the thermostat drop to 55 degrees or so, but do make sure the heat is on and working. You never want your coldest room to get below 50 degrees, especially rooms with water pipes. Frozen pipes are a nightmare to deal with, and can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage.