It’s no secret folks, wintertime is here and heating season is truly in full swing. Our northern Nevada winters have many of us retreating into our homes to keep out of the winter weather. When your home isn’t kept warm, it can cause household issues like burst pipes and raise some health concerns related to the cold.
Even if your furnace is functioning correctly, your home may be losing heat, wasting energy, costing you money and making you uncomfortable. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, you can try implementing some simple steps to keep your home warm.
1. Change your air filters
Making sure you have clean air filters is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your system running efficiently. If your furnace’s air filter is clogged by dust, dirt, pet hair, or other particulates, your blower motor may be working longer and harder to achieve the desired temperature. An additional benefit of clean filters is that they will provide cleaner, healthier indoor air.
2. Switch your ceiling fan
As mentioned in a previous column, Ask Dirk: Will running my ceiling fan in the winter save money, your ceiling fans can be used in the winter to help boost your home heating system. Your fan usually works by pushing air down and creating a wind-chill effect that helps you feel cooler. If your fan has a switch to change direction, it will instead pull cold air up towards the ceiling and push the warmer air near the ceiling downward without uncomfortable drafts.
3. Cover wood floors
I haven’t yet found a person who enjoys stepping barefoot on a tile or wood floor during the cold months. These surfaces often feel colder than other surfaces in your home and, if uninsulated, can make the rest of your home colder. It’s estimated an average of 10 percent of heat loss occurs through the floors in our homes, but that number can be reduced a bit by utilizing rugs or carpet rolls during the heating season.
4. Use your window coverings
Even if your windows are well sealed, there is still some heat loss that occurs near them, especially on a frigid night. If you’ve got window coverings, use them as a layer of insulation to keep warmth in your rooms. In sunny areas of your home, you can open the same coverings up during the day to aid in heating your home.
5. Get your ductwork checked by a professional
Your ventilation system works by moving heated air throughout ductwork and into your home. Any tears, holes, clogs or disconnected parts can make the system use more energy and cause heat loss that leaves you feeling uncomfortable.
A final thought I’d like to leave you with that can go a long way in keeping your home comfortable:
6. Keep a maintenance calendar and look into a maintenance agreement
A maintenance calendar can help you keep track of your system’s repairs and recommended servicing schedule. Similarly, many HVAC professionals offer a maintenance agreement, so your system can undergo scheduled regular maintenance and inspections, ensuring everything is running smoothly. If you have a maintenance calendar and receive consistent service, you can financially prepare and schedule times to change out worn down or aging parts before they break. Be sure to ask your trusted HVAC technician about your maintenance calendar and find out if they offer a maintenance agreement.