Cold weather in North Carolina can mean the occasional snow storm, but more often ice, sleet, and freezing rain. If your HVAC system, heat pump, or furnace is struggling to keep your home warm during cold weather, your system may be in need of maintenance. Call us today at 919.467.8823 or 919.367.0102 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Issues with any system can be extremely dangerous or even deadly if the unit is releasing carbon monoxide into your home.
And keep in mind: If snow or ice has built up on or around your unit during a storm be sure to keep at least 24 inches of clear space around your unit at all times for optimal operation.
To help you save money on heating costs, follow these energy saving tips!
- Adjust Your Thermostat: Take advantage of programmable thermostats. Especially if you have a furnace, set your thermostat to automatically turn the heat down at night and when you’re away. If you have a heat pump, use your smart thermostat to turn down the thermostat in the winter when you are away and at night when you are asleep, or to turn it up a few degrees in the summer.
- Lock Windows and Doors: When you lock your windows and doors, they are usually pulled tighter against the weather stripping of their frames. This can help seal the windows and doors from leaks and won’t let the cool or warm air out.
- Replace Your Filters: A dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder and reduces efficiency, increasing your energy use. Change your HVAC filter at least every three months, if not every month in the hottest and coldest seasons. According to the US Department of Energy, changing your filter can lower your energy consumption by 5-15%.
- Keep HVAC Registers Clear: Your HVAC system uses energy to take air in, heat or cool it, and then push it through your home. Don’t make it work harder to get your home to the set temperature by placing obstacles over the heat registers. If you have furniture blocking the registers, rearrange the room to improve air circulation.
- Block and Damper your Fireplace: If you’re not using your fireplace, make sure to close the flu, preventing heated or cooled air from escaping through the chimney. Besides using the damper, you can install glass doors around the fireplace, or invest in a chimney balloon.
- Only Heat/Cool the Rooms You’re Using: If you have a storage or guest room that isn’t being used, block and shut off the registers for those rooms using less energy to keep unnecessary areas warm/cool, leaving the main areas of your home comfortable.
- Use Your Windows: Add curtains to windows to reduce heat loss by 10%, according to Energy.gov. During the winter, open your drapes or blinds on the south side of your home to bring the heat of the sun into your home keeping it warm. In the summer, keep your blinds and windows closed to block the heat. If you have blinds, close them completely to reduce heat gain by 45%. If you have drapes, switch them out for medium colors with white-plastic backings to reduce heat gains by 33%. Let shrubbery and plants grow over the windows or add awnings to provide shade, which can reduce heat gain by 77% on west-facing windows.
- Use Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans can be an excellent way to reduce your heating and cooling costs year-round. In the winter, you can use your ceiling fans to cut costs by changing the ceiling fan’s rotation to clockwise and set it to low, circulating warm air that’s risen to the ceiling back down to the living area without creating a draft. In the summer, make sure your ceiling fans are going counterclockwise and pushing cooler air down. Using your ceiling fans in the summer can make it feel 6 degrees cooler in your home, letting you increase your thermostat 6 degrees higher, saving on energy costs. But remember to turn them off when you leave a room to avoid wasting energy.
- Find and Seal Leaks: In the winter, as much as 38% of your home’s heat can be lost through leaks in ductwork, and around doors and windows. Sealing leaks can help minimize wasting money on heating and cooling your home. By sealing the ductwork in your home, caulking around windows, replacing the weather stripping around the outside or bottom of your doors, and insulating around outlets and pipes, you can help reduce the amount of leaks in your home, thereby saving you on heating and cooling costs year-round!
- Maintain Your HVAC System: Energy Star recommends regular maintenance and getting tune-ups on your HVAC system to ensure your HVAC system runs efficiently. This can not only increase efficiency and save you money on your HVAC bills but it can help prevent more costly problems in before they cause major damage to your system. Learn more about getting a system tune-up here.