Here in Central Virginia, fall is quickly approaching! While the fall season brings many fun activities and autumn treats to look forward to, it also means dropping temperatures and rising heating bills. We’ve gathered our best tips for preparing your home for the fall and winter seasons to help you be as energy-efficient as possible!
Step 1: Schedule Fall Maintenance Tasks
To ensure cost-effective and efficient winter operation, we recommend that you prioritize home maintenance. Plan for annual heater maintenance to uphold your system’s condition. During this checkup, an HVAC technician will perform lubrication, tightening, cleaning, and inspections across the unit while identifying potential issues for timely repairs before winter.
For fireplace owners, make sure to get it inspected before use! This is necessary for safety and determining whether you require a cleaning! If you don’t use your fireplace often, consider installing a chimney balloon to prevent air from escaping and affecting your home’s climate control.
Step 2: Insulate and Seal Your Home
Inadequate sealing or insulation in ceilings and walls can allow cold air to infiltrate your home. Prevent your heating bill from skyrocketing with the change of season by investigating whether your home is doing a good job at retaining its internal temperature. Check the caulk encircling pipes or cables passing through outer walls, as this caulk tends to deteriorate over time and requires regular maintenance to ensure it’s working as it should. For a quick fix, consider laying batt insulation in your attic. Should any exterior walls need enhanced cold protection, introducing blow-in insulation can be highly effective.
Remember to assess your windows and doors for any cracks in the trim! You can use caulk to seal these openings and prevent cold air from entering your home. Add weatherstripping around any movable parts, and consider installing a door sweep to the bottom of your door to prevent drafts. If you have previously installed weatherstripping, check for cracks or damage and replace as needed.
Step 3: Update Your Window Drapes
Thick window drapes effectively block cold air and retain desired warmth indoors. Allow sunlight to naturally heat your home by opening these drapes during the day. Come evening, close them to sustain warmth, potentially reducing heater use and conserving energy.
Step 4: Check your Vents
Go through your home and ensure all vents are unblocked and fully open. A common misconception is that closing vents in unused rooms can help improve energy efficiency. What actually occurs is a disruption in the air pressure – often leading to an increased energy bill. Optimize your savings by leaving all air vents open and allowing your system to do its job unobstructed.
Step 5: Seal Up Drafty Outlets
Electrical outlets on exterior walls are often an overlooked culprit for draftiness in your home since builders frequently overlook their insulation. You can check for this by removing your outlet covers. Seal small gaps using acrylic latex and fill bigger openings with foam sealant. Additionally, you can enhance insulation by adding a foam gasket over the outlet before reattaching the cover.
Step 6: Ensure Your Thermostat is Correctly Calibrated
You can optimize energy savings each season by programming your thermostat to match your household’s schedule. Lower the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees at night when sleeping, conserving energy during inactive hours. If you add flannel sheets and blankets to your beds, you’ll stay comfortable and likely won’t notice the temperature difference. Remember to reduce the thermostat setting while away from home for extra savings!
Checking off these tasks will prepare your home for maximum energy efficiency this fall and winter.
To learn more about lowering your energy expenses and schedule your seasonal maintenance visit, contact W.E. Brown at (434) 295-1177. We can help prepare your furnace for all the challenges of the winter season.
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