Give Your Furnace a Break: 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Warmer This Winter
Your HVAC system is hands down the most expensive and energy-consuming system in your home. As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, what it costs to keep your home toasty warm accounts for almost a third of your utility bill. Consider some of these budget-friendly tips to keep your house warmer without breaking the bank this winter.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
There’s never a great time for your HVAC to quit on you, but there are times when a faulty system can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Before a blizzard that’s expected to dump double-digit snowfall comes your way, make sure you get your HVAC system checked out by a professional to be sure it’s winter-ready. A regular maintenance schedule with a trusted professional will help keep your HVAC system running smoothly and keep your home warm all winter long. A planned service agreement, like Holtzople’s Comfort Club, will help you avoid system failures, protect the life of your equipment, and ensure that you always receive priority service at the best possible rate.
Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly
Changing your furnace filters at least once a month during the winter will keep your HVAC system working better for longer—and save you money. A filter that’s clogged with dirt and dust has to work harder to keep up the heat, sending your utility bill through the roof. The few moments and the few dollars it takes to replace your dirty furnace filter with a new one will go a long way toward keeping your house toasty.
Keep Vents Open
At first, the idea of closing vents in rooms you don’t go into very often might seem like a sensible idea. Doesn’t it seem logical to expect that the air that would have gone into these unused rooms would get rerouted to the spaces where it’s needed more? Surprisingly, that’s not what happens. Your supply and return vents are specially designed and placed to make the amount of air that comes out of your supply vents equal to the amount of air that goes into your return vents. When you close the vents in a room, it causes the air to build up inside the ducts, making it harder for the air handler to release it. The pressure increases, putting a strain on your system and causing it to work harder—meaning there’s a greater risk of breaking down.
Consider a Smart Thermostat
Closing vents may be a recipe for disaster, but there are other things you can do to save money on energy bills and keep your home warm. A smart thermostat often allows you to develop an energy profile of your home based on square footage and location, and then uses this information to make recommendations for heating your house efficiently. Some come with movement sensors that detect when you get home from work or when you and your family get up in the morning—cuing the device to raise the temperature the way you have programmed it.
Holtzople Heating & Conditioning often recommends the ComfortLink Remote Thermostat by Trane. Here’s a smart thermostat that allows you to create your ideal home environment, even when you’re away. Remote access is provided through Schlage LiNK, a comprehensive internet-enabled system that puts your home in the palm of your hand!
Little Things Help a Lot
If you’re away from your house for long periods of time, there’s no need to keep the heating running while you’re gone. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees as you’re walking out the door to save energy and some money on your heating bill and notch the temperature up a bit when you get home…if you need to. Sometimes, the heat from your oven as you make dinner will provide all the warmth you need in your living areas. If you have a fireplace, look into a fireplace plug like a “chimney pillow” or a “flue blocker.” These are inexpensive ways to keep warm air from literally “going up the chimney.” If you have a southern or west exposure, think about leaving your curtains open during the day to take advantage of the sunshine. Hang heavy drapes to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Move any large pieces of furniture that may be blocking your vents to encourage better air circulation.
Holtzople Heating & Air Conditioning offers routine maintenance agreements (that include 24-hour emergency HVAC service to central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania), and a wide array of energy-efficient home comfort solutions. You can count on us to help you keep your home warmer this winter!