Winter is coming. If you don’t prepare for it, you’ll waste energy in warming your home. You’ll also risk permanent damage to your property. Fortunately, some home maintenance should prevent such issues. Here are four essential tasks to prep your house for winter.
Reverse the Ceiling Fans
Have you ever noticed the switch on your ceiling fan? You may not realize it, but that switch has a purpose. It reverses the rotation of the fan blades. You will have it set to Forward as a default. This setting spins the blades counter-clockwise, creating a cool breeze that lowers the room temperature. If you fail to change the setting, the fans will add more cool air in the winter. That’s redundant and a waste of energy. You’re providing electricity to your fans and making your HVAC unit work harder.
During winter, you want to set the switch to Reverse. The blades will switch to a clockwise rotation. This tactic takes the air that rises to the ceiling and recirculates it. You’ll save on your energy bill by using warm air that you already have instead of activating your HVAC unit.
Service the HVAC Unit
You also should hire a service professional to do maintenance on your HVAC unit. The ventilation system in your home gets clogged up with nasty substances. The dust particles in your home get sucked into the shaft and stack up in the vent. This creates clogs that force your HVAC unit to work harder. They also float into other rooms and cause allergy issues. You may even have pests nesting in your vents.
An HVAC service call will include changing your air filter and pressure tests for your ventilation ducts. The technician will also clean the exterior area of debris, such as leaves, and make sure that vents or grilles aren’t blocked. Since your HVAC unit will run at optimal efficiency, you might even save money by having regular HVAC maintenance.
Look at the doors of your home. Notice how they don’t have a tight fit with the facing of the house. Construction workers do their best when they install doors and windows, but gaps are unavoidable. Those holes are where cold air will flow into your home. When this happens, you’re not just heating your home but some of the great outdoors as well.
Weatherstripping stops this problem. Use a lit candle to see where drafts are getting into your home. Then, add foam or felt weatherstripping to the gaps. This step only takes a small amount of time and will save you a lot of money.
Buy a Smart Thermostat
You waste a lot of energy when you’re not home. Your HVAC unit turns on when the thermostat registers that the house is too cold. That’s a waste of energy. A smart thermostat such as a Google Nest learns from your behavior. It won’t activate your HVAC unit at the wrong times. You’ll save so much on your energy bill that this device will pay for itself in less than two years.
Prepping your house for winter is a proactive step. Follow the suggestions listed here to run your home more efficiently while saving money on your utility bills.