Once winter arrives, the temperature not only drops outside, but it will dip in your home, too. Firing up the furnace could restore your interior to a comfortable level. Of course, it costs money to heat a house. Does that mean each winter comes with an excessively high heating bill? Homeowners who take steps to winterize their residences might cut costs significantly. Here’s a look at some steps for winterizing a humble abode during the cold season months.
1. Change the Furnace’s Filter
A filter serves several different purposes. Yes, the filter captures dirt and other impurities and keeps them out of the ducts. However, a filter also keeps dirt and dust from building up inside the furnace. Such buildups could lead to the system running inefficiently. Inefficiency could translate to the unit drawing more power to heat your interior spaces. More energy means higher bills. Changing the filter could address this problem.
Ultimately, filters require timely changes regardless of winterizing and money-saving concerns. An old and clogged filter doesn’t help the furnace.
2. Sealing Up Drafts
Drafts cause hot air to escape, and they let cold air inside. Not every homeowner takes steps to determine if windows and doors have drafts due to cracks and other imperfections. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to have an energy audit performed with an eye on drafts. If troubles with windows and doors become evident, relatively simple steps might cut down on losing hot air. Inexpensive weatherstripping could provide a valuable solution. Those not sure how to perform weatherstripping could hire a home improvement specialist to handle the job.
3. Cleaning and Tuning the Furnace
As previously mentioned, changing the filter could lead to significant improvements in its efficiency. A furnace, of course, relies on many other parts to operate. Routine cleanings and tune-ups could reduce many of the troubles that cause the system to lag. An annual service visit might address possible issues. Signing up for a service maintenance plan might help homeowners, as these plans prevent situations where years and years pass without anyone checking the system. Preventive maintenance may save you significant money in the long run.
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4. Changing the Doors and Windows
Sometimes, weatherstripping might not be enough to deal with door and window troubles. Replacing old doors and windows and installing newer, more energy-efficient ones might be a smart plan. Uniquely designed doors and windows can prevent air from entering or escaping. The concern homeowners may possess likely centers on the expenses associated with purchasing and installing these items. Perhaps you’d benefit from looking at the savings from a long-term perspective. If those doors and windows lead to many years of reduced winter and summer bills, they may quickly pay for themselves.
5. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat in your home, then installing one might be overdue. With a programmable thermostat, you can set specific temperatures for particular times and days. Why heat your house to 70 degrees when no one is there? Instead, you can set the thermostat so the furnace turns up the heat at appropriate times.
Smart thermostats that work with an app allow for real-time changes as necessary. Making adjustments when no one is home keeps bills down and reduces energy waste.
6. Install a Zoned Thermostat System
Going with a zoned thermostat system might be an advisable long-term plan. With a zoned system, homeowners can better regulate the temperatures in specific areas of the house. Dampers inside the ducts allow for increased or decreased airflow, depending on the thermostat settings. With a zoned system, less-occupied rooms need not receive any costly heat. Why spend money on heating an empty room? With a zone setup, homeowners could cut back on waste from one winter to the next.
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