It’s time to start thinking about winter heating! Depending on where you live, winter can be particularly rough. The northeast is known for its brutal winters; freezing temperatures inevitably bring sleet, snow, and ice. During this time, you will undoubtedly be using your heat on a daily basis, not only to keep you and your loved ones warm but to protect your home! a faulty heating system could lead to damages like freezing pipes. Before the cold weather hits, you should have the equipment in your home serviced.
Winter Heating Tips
Once you are sure that your winter heating system is working properly, there is another aspect that you should consider: is it working efficiently? Because home winter heating is such an important feature, making sure that it’s working efficiently will not only extend its lifespan, but it will save you money. Here are a few tips to keep your heating system efficient this winter:
- Use the Sun: Even when temperatures outside are freezing or below, the sun can provide heat. Keep curtains, shades, or blinds open during the day if possible. This allows natural light to flow into your home, which provides additional heat. They can be closed at night to retain heat and to avoid any drafts.
- Seal Drafts: If you have a drafty door or window in your home, you should fix it before the temperature drops. There’s no need to replace these fixtures, you can modify them temporarily. A clear plastic sheet and some tape can help to insulate window frames and stop drafts in their tracks. If that doesn’t fix the problem, insulating drapes are available as an added precaution.
- Adjust Temperature Responsibly: When you are awake in your home during the day, set the thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature. There really isn’t any need to crank the heat so you can hang out in shorts and a t-shirt. A sweatshirt or sweater will do the trick, as long as the temperature is both safe and comfortable. When you go to bed, or when the house is vacant, the temperature can be set even lower. According to the Department of Energy, turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save you 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. Heat pumps also have temperature control settings.
- Inspect Areas that Access Outdoors: Areas like chimneys, windows, and pipes that lead outside have a higher risk of drafts or leaks. Caulk can seal some of these areas, but you may want to contact a professional for areas that are harder to access.
- Protect your Fireplace: If your home has a fireplace, you should want to reduce heat loss as much as possible. Unless you are actively using it for a fire, the damper should always be closed. Leaving it open is like leaving a door ajar; it connects directly to the outdoors and heat will escape right through it. If you don’t use your fireplace at all, you can plug your chimney flue completely. If you think that your chimney needs work, contact a professional. Grates designed to push heat into the room are also available.
- Close Unused Rooms: If there is an area in your home that you rarely use, keep the door closed. This will allow for more heat to be distributed throughout areas in your home that are used regularly.
- Rugs and Curtains: Cover any bare floors if possible. Carpets and rugs act as insulators and protect your home from heat loss. Not only do they add flair to a room, but they also keep your feet warm! Thick curtains are also a great way to prevent heat loss through windows.
- Clear Radiators and Heaters: If these areas aren’t blocked by pieces of furniture, they will be able to distribute heat through your home evenly and efficiently.
- Water Heating: When it comes to water heating, you can adjust the temperature of your water heater. 120 degrees is considered as a warm setting, and keeping the temperature set there or slightly below is energy efficient and will save you money on your utility bills.
- Routine Service: Perhaps the most important aspect of energy efficient heating is having your equipment regularly serviced. Annual service is highly recommended to extend its lifespan and keep it running efficiently. Even if your heating system seems to be working well, you should still have it checked to prevent any future malfunctions.
Call Gold Star Service today to learn more about heating your home in the winter!