Now is the time to start winterizing your home. Here are a few tips brought to you by Realgy Energy Services to help you prepare for the colder weather and increase your energy efficiency.
Just like your air conditioner, your furnace should also get an annual check-up from a certified HVAC technician before the heating season. Keeping your furnace and ducts clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use and save you money.
At the very least, make sure to clean or replace the air filter on your furnace before starting it for the first time and check it every month. A dirty filter will restrict airflow and increase energy use and even possibly lead to premature failure of the unit.
While you are checking on your furnace, don’t overlook the hot water heater; if it is warm to the touch, it needs more insulation. Consider installing a water heater blanket or jacket insulation around the tank which will help prevent heat loss; be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered. You should also insulate hot water pipes to further reduce heat loss.
Insulating your hot water heater and pipes will decrease your energy consumption and increase your savings; as a bonus this will even allow you to turn down the water temperature to around 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a fireplace always keep the damper closed when not in use to prevent heat loss. Ensure the chimney is clean and soot free; you should also cover the top of the chimney with a protective cap or screen to keep out unwanted debris and small animals.
Take the time now to seal cracks and crevices around windows and doors using caulk or weather-stripping. If you have old windows and are not planning on replacing them before the cold weather, consider using a shrink plastic kit to keep hot air in and cold air out.
Use these simple tips to get your home ready for the winter chill and increase your energy savings.