There’s a Chill in the Air
The coldest days of the year have finally arrived and whether you love the snowy streets and bundling up, or would rather skip ahead to spring, the chill is here to stay. Even if you are one to run outside on the day of the first snowfall and breathe in the crisp air, when you head back inside, you’re most likely hoping for a cozy and warm home.
Keeping your home comfortable in the winter can be expensive. Constantly having your furnace running can quickly add up and soon you’ll be frowning at the energy bill wondering what went wrong.
At AWS Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we can help you discover what might be driving your costs up so high. This could be due to a unit in need of repairs, a drafty home, or even a faulty thermostat. Whatever your issue is, we’re here to help. Read on to discover the mystery behind your chilly home and high bills and how, with just a few small changes, you can keep the cold out this winter.
Give Your Heater Some Attention
Even if your heater seems to be getting the job done, higher than usual energy bills are typically a sign that something is in need of repair. An inefficient or broken heater will only continue to run itself into the ground and cost you in the long run.
One of the most important things you can do for your heater is to schedule regular, seasonal maintenance appointments, one in the spring, and one in the fall. During this appointment, your technician will take a look at the whole unit, fixing any small issues or issues that may turn into larger, more expensive problems down the line.
Purchase a New Heater
An old, outdated heater is doing you more harm than good this winter. A heater can last between 15-30 years depending on how well used and maintained it is. If your heater is in that age range or older and is beginning to exhibit signs of strong wear and tear, it’s time to consider a new model. This new system will be more efficient and keep your home warmer for longer.
Change Your Air Filters
This simple chore could mean a world of difference for your heater this season. Your air filters keep pollutants from circulating throughout the home. Once they become dirty and full, they clog up your unit, causing a variety of problems that keep your heater from working properly.
Use Your Curtains
Your window treatments aren’t just for privacy and decor. The typical home can experience about 10% of heat loss through windows. Curtains can help your home retain heat. Keeping them open during the day allows the warmth from the sun to stream in. Closing them at night will give your windows an added layer of insulation from the chilly evenings and mornings.
Seal Up Doors and Windows
You have most likely noticed that a room feels much colder when standing near a door or window. They both have many places through which warm air escapes and cold air rushes in. Eliminate this heat loss with one or more of the following solutions:
- Weather strips. These are a great, cost-effective way to keep the chill out. Head to the hardware store and pick up a box of v-type, foam, or compression strips for an easy installation and effective insulation.
- Door sweeps. A door sweep can be installed on the bottom of your doors and act as another layer of protection from the outside. These can come in a variety of styles and will also help keep insects out of your home. If you’d rather not install a door sweep, use a rolled up towel or blanket at the bottom of the door to keep air flow to a minimum.
- Window film. This plastic wrap look-alike actually does a lot for an old, draughty window. Use the provided tape to attach the film around the edge of the window and turn your hair dryer on high to shrink the plastic into a taught sheet.
- Re-caulk. Likely the most effective way to create a better seal is to simply re-caulk the entire window or door. You can purchase caulk at your local hardware store, just be sure you select the right kind and follow the instructions carefully.
Get a New Thermostat
Your thermostat is the control center of your HVAC system and should therefore be in tip-top condition in order to provide you with the comfort you need. If your thermostat has been giving you trouble, providing incorrect readings, or is simply old and outdated, it’s time to look into a new model.
Smart thermostats are a great upgrade for your system that will make heating and cooling your home much easier and efficient. They’ll help you keep track of your heating habits, track your schedule to maximize efficiency, and you can even control the temperature from your smartphone. Did you forget to turn down the thermostat before leaving for Grandma’s for the holidays? Simply hop on your phone and make the switch to avoid wasting money.
Along with weather stripping your windows and utilizing your curtains, adding additional insulation to your home is crucial for anyone looking to stay warm this winter. An uninsulated or under-insulated attic can account for up to 25% of heat loss from your home. If your insulation is old, or looking worse for the wear, look into insulation installation near you.
It’s also important to inspect your duct work from time to time to make sure it hasn’t become damaged. Sealing and insulating your ducts will keep the warm air inside them where it belongs and avoid additional lost heat.
If you’re determined to keep the thermostat temperature to a minimum, but are still finding yourself uncomfortably chilly most days, it’s time to bundle up. Shorts and t-shirts are for the summer, after all! Wearing a sweater and warm socks will keep you warm without having to crank the thermostat up and pay through the nose while doing it.
Keep blankets, both normal and electric, nearby and cozy up on the couch!
Move Your Furniture
This one might sound strange, but the placement of your furniture can have an affect on the comfort levels of your home. If a chair is close to a window or door, you’re more likely to feel colder while sitting there. Consider rearranging furniture during the colder months for added comfort.
Additionally, take a look around and make sure your couch, bookshelf, or other large pieces of furniture are not blocking vents. This can not only damage the furniture, but it can also keep the warm air flow from reaching the whole room, making it harder to reach a more comfortable temperature.
Call AWS Today
The final way to keep the cold out this winter is by giving us a call! The team at AWS Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is here to make your winter more comfortable and efficient. Hire our expert team for heater maintenance, installations, oil to gas conversions, boiler repairs, radiant heat systems, and more! Call us at (516) 217-2196 or book an appointment with us online! Just look for the ‘Book Now’ button on our website.