Autumn encompasses pumpkin spice, corn mazes, and apple harvests. It is also indicates that winter is right around the corner. Birds fly to warmer, more hospitable areas and many mammals store food for their upcoming hibernation—but how do we prepare?
Consider these DIY HVAC tips so your home is at peak comfort and efficiency for the winter season. If you need help with any of these or don’t feel like going through the hassle of DIY, schedule an appointment with HB McClure and one of our expert technicians can take care of your winter preparation HVAC needs.
Make sure your vents aren’t blocked. Blocked vents can keep heat from circulating throughout a room. Keep objects like blinds, carpets, or furniture free from your vents so your heater can operate efficiently with even air distribution. If you happen to have an outdoor unit, clear the exterior of branches, leaves, and dirt.
Trap heat inside. If you have a ceiling fan, running it in the correct direction makes a big difference. There is usually a switch on the ceiling fan that can change its direction. Use the fan’s manual to find the switch if needed. To keep the heat secure, set the fan to run clockwise.
Adjust vents to your needs. Since heat rises, opening more vents on the bottom floor and closing some of the vents on the top floor is another way to save money and improve efficiency. This is a relatively simple fix and can be adjusted depending on your comfort levels.
Clean your vents. Use a vacuum cleaner and duster to free vents of summer pollen, pet dander, and dust. If there is noticeable debris on the inside of your vents, it may be a good idea to schedule a duct cleaning appointment. Dirty ducts produce poor air quality and can negatively affect one’s health, especially in small children or people who have allergies (or are heading into Flu season). Here is a step-by-step guide for vent cleaning.
See how HB’s duct-cleaning service that could improve efficiency by up to 15%.
Be mindful of your thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is calibrated correctly and if possible invest in a programmable thermostat so you can set the temperature to be cooler at night when you are sleeping and covered up. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “by turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill.”
Replace your filters. You wouldn’t use the same coffee filter for months on end, would you? Dirty filters slow down air flow and create polluted air quality. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household energy bill is $2,200 a year. Changing your air filter every month or so can also help save 5% to 15% of your utility costs. Replacing your filters can greatly reduce your energy costs, improve indoor air quality, and increase your heating system’s efficiency. Here’s a video on how to DIY.
Give your home some extra fluff. Add extra insulation to your home’s attic or crawl space to keep your home warmer in the winter (and cooler in the summer). It’s like a thermos for your home. See how here.
A Home Comfort Assessment from HB McClure can identify hidden energy leaks, determine if the heating system you have is working efficiently, identify small problems before they become costly ones, and more.
Check for drafts. Windows and doors with drafts or leaks allow heat to escape and cold air to enter your home, ultimately costing you more to stay warm. Check the weather stripping and caulking on each door and window and replace any that are broken or cracked. If you feel like getting crafty, here is a DIY Draft Stopper tutorial.
If you follow these HVAC tips for Fall and are still having issues, it may be time to schedule a tune-up. Our technicians can check and fix your HVAC problems and answer any questions or concerns you may have. A professional tune-up will not only improve home heating, air flow, and overall comfort, but you will also save time, money, and energy down the road. It is important to schedule an appointment during the fall season because just like the birds migrating for the winter, our technician’s availability starts to head south.
Prepare your home for winter with HB McClure. Click to schedule an appointment or call 717.232.4328. For more Fall HVAC tips to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency, click here. Save even more by checking out our current promotions.
“Trust, Quality, Value…Since 1914. That’s HB McClure.”