With winter on our doorstep, this is the time to perform some routine maintenance around your home — and on your HVAC unit — to help protect your family from these chilly months. Winterizing your home helps reduce energy bills and helps prevent major damage that can be caused due to brutal Midwest temperatures. Here are a few simple steps you can take right now to help winterize your home this year.
Weatherproofing your home starts from the outside in. You will want to clean out gutters of all debris and position downspouts away from your home’s foundation. You may also want to address tree branches that hang over your home, as they can gather snow and ice and potentially damage your home.
Weather stripping and weatherproofing
Weather stripping doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home… or heat from escaping it. Installing door sweeps is another very effective, yet simple, method that can help keep the cold out. You will also want to inspect the windows in your home for any drafts. You can use foam outlet protectors to prevent cold air from entering your home. Don’t forget to check your attic as well; often, the majority of heat loss can occur via openings in the attic. Check to make sure that you have enough insulation as well.
Seal pipes and water lines
While in your attic checking for drafts, you will also want to pay close attention to your water lines. Piping can be exposed to harsh winds and cold temperatures, but they’re often overlooked. A great way to help your water lines from freezing or cracking is to wrap them with heat tape. Lastly, make sure to check all your vents! You will want to close attic vents during the winter to prevent drafts from circulating.
Scrap that dirty HVAC filter
Changing the filter every month is one of the most important things you can do to support your HVAC system during the colder season. It also happens to be one of the easiest, and something you can even do yourself. The filter should be checked every month and changed, at a minimum, every three months. Keeping a clean air filter installed in your system will ensure your furnace and blower motor aren’t being overworked — this will help to maintain the life of your system as well as maintain efficiency. This means you can save money on energy bills and maintain a higher degree of comfort in your home for a lower cost. If you’re not sure what type of filter you have, or would like to have your filter replaced, please give us a call at 815-893-9276.
Invest in a smart thermostat
A great way to save on money and lower your energy bill is to install a programmable thermostat. During the colder months, you can customize your thermostat to keep a lower temperature in the house during times when no one is home… and kick up the temperature during times when the family is home. If you don’t own a programmable thermostat or need to replace your thermostat, we have options available including smart thermostats such as the ecobee. Smart thermostats can make it even easier to create the heating and cooling schedules you need, as well as intelligently adjust your usage to save money over time.
Get a furnace tune up
Finally, one of the best ways you can prepare your home for the winter is to have your heating equipment maintained. A furnace tune up includes a wide variety of steps to ensure your equipment is working as it should and keeping your family warm. It can help to ensure you aren’t left without heat when the cold snaps hit —call us today at 815-893-9276 or contact us online to schedule your tune up visit today. Plus, tune-ups are very affordable and represent a low-cost way to keep things comfortable. Speaking of savings, make sure to ask your technician about our HVAC maintenance plans, too!