Winters around Clarksville are undoubtedly one of the most challenging seasons for keeping your home comfortable. There’s little you can do to keep your family safe during the coldest days except run your heat, and that can cost you an arm and a leg. Here are some tips to take advantage of energy savings while keeping your family comfortable this winter.
Manage Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
The Department of Energy suggests that 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to keep your thermostat set to over the winter. They go on to say that adjusting your thermostat down by 7 to 10 degrees for at least eight hours a day may provide up to about 10% energy savings.
Use the programs on your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically while your family is away or in bed. This will keep your house cooler when you’re not home, but comfortable when you’ll enjoy the heat the most.
Replace Your Air Filter
In order for your furnace to heat your home, it has to circulate air efficiently. Any airflow restrictions will cause the system to run longer heating cycles, driving up the wear on your system and your energy bill.
The most common place for an airflow restriction is your furnace’s air filter. For common 1- and 2-inch filters, you should plan to replace your filters about every 90 days, with average air quality. Plan to check your filter monthly so that you catch a dirty air filter early, and gently vacuum off the intake side of the filter to help keep the filter more efficient between changes.
Make Use of Ceiling Fans
Most people know that heat rises, but don’t think about the impact this has on their energy bill. As the heat rises in your home, it settles at your ceiling, making the air at your floor cooler, and leaving you wanting to raise the temperature on your thermostat.
The easy way to combat this is to make use of your ceiling fans to push the heat down where you’ll actually enjoy it. However, you want to make sure you set it correctly for the winter. You should run the fan on low, rotating the blades in a counterclockwise direction. This will gently pull the cool air up, pushing the warm air down where you’ll enjoy it. The effect is a more comfortable air temperature with less strain on your HVAC system.
Without the right amount of insulation at the right places, the heat you pay to generate simply escapes into the cool Clarksville winter reducing energy savings. Professionals recommend insulting your attic to a level of R30, either through blown-in or frame insulation. It’s also important to add insulation in your walls if at all possible.
Consider the other areas that may allow heat to leak out from your home that are often overlooked. These include your light switches, power receptacles, and even light fixture mounts. Make sure each one has a face plate firmly attached, and consider adding a thermal gasket to help reduce heat loss through these areas. Do not try to stuff insulation into these boxes, as it may pose a fire hazard.
Seal and Insulate Your Ducts
Your ducts can be another significant source of heat loss. If your ducts are not properly sealed, the heated air will leak out before it can heat your home, extending your heating cycles.
Have a professional inspect your ducts and ensure they are properly sealed to avoid this heat loss. If your ducts run through any unconditioned spaces, like your basement or garage, you’ll want to also insulate those sections of duct to keep the heat from leaking out.
Manage Your Windows
Your windows can be an incredibly power tool for helping manage your winter energy bill. While you can use DIY sealing kits to add an extra layer of protection to windows throughout your home, a heavy set of curtains can actually do a better job. First, they provide as good of thermal protection to keep the heat inside. Second, they provide the privacy many people want with shorter days. Plus, you can open the curtains during sunny weather to allow solar heating to further reduce the strain on your furnace.
Get Annual Furnace Maintenance
As your furnace runs, small airborne particles flow past your filter and settle on sensitive components throughout the system. This causes additional airflow restrictions, further affecting your energy bill. A technician cleans these areas during annual maintenance, plus tightens electrical connections and mounts to help reduce operational strain. All of this works together to keep your unit operating at peak efficiency, keep your utility costs down.
Call an Experienced Professional if Your System is Malfunctioning
Do you have an extremely old system? Are you seeing or hearing things that weren’t there before? If you suspect that the system is not working properly, you should call a professional as soon as possible.
A few signs that the system is in trouble include abnormal noises or smells, an extremely cold home, expensive bills, and frequent shutoffs. Regardless of the concern, an experienced professional can solve the problem and perform the necessary repairs before an emergency occurs.
Heating Maintenance and AC Tune-up costs are much more reasonable than having a costly repair later. Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by, the professionals at DOC Heating and Cooling are ready to help. The highly-trained technicians are available 24/7 for emergency calls and for regular maintenance to help keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.