There are plenty of steps Fairfax, Virginia, homeowners can take to prep their homes this winter and enjoy reduced energy bills. From changing HVAC filters to lowering your water heater’s temperature, here’s what you need to know about winterizing your home on a budget.
Change the Filters
Regularly swapping out those dirty air filters for fresh ones improves airflow and reduces energy costs. You should change your furnace filters every one to three months during the heating season. If you own pets, you’re better off changing your filters more often because of pet dander and fur.
New filters typically cost an average of $10. Depending on which type of filter your system requires, they may cost a bit more, but they’re still a great value when you consider that they keep your heater running smoothly all winter long.
Drain Air Conditioner Hoses and Pipes
Once you’ve turned your air conditioner off for the winter, it’s important to drain any hoses and pipes to avoid pooled water in the equipment. When water isn’t drained, it can freeze and damage your AC unit. If your air conditioner has a water shut-off valve, switch it off.
It doesn’t take any money to block those pesky drafts under doors and around windows. While investing in a permanent solution like weatherstripping or upgraded windows is ideal, you can use quick solutions to stop energy waste.
A simple rolled-up towel placed against the bottom of a drafty door works in a pinch. If you’re crafty, you can even make a draft snake from scraps of fabric. The same concept works for windows. Use towels or fabric scraps to fill in any gaps, or secure the windows with clear plastic for extra insulation.
Schedule an HVAC Tuneup
Just like your car needs an annual tune-up, so does your HVAC system. Now is the perfect time to schedule this crucial service, so that your HVAC system is ready to take on the chill.
Regular HVAC maintenance ensures your system is clean and working properly. An annual HVAC tuneup also saves you money in the long run, in equipment repair, replacement, and energy costs.
Check the Thermostat
Thermostats are designed to give you years of service, but they can be finicky. If you accidentally bumped the thermostat, this could affect the reading and furnace performance. As a result, it will be difficult for you to heat your home comfortably, and you could also see higher energy bills. Checking your thermostat to make sure that it is calibrated properly will help you to save money this winter.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to make that upgrade so that you can start saving money. They’re well worth the investment, and it won’t take long before you see the difference on your utility bill.
Lower the Water Heater’s Temperature
You may think your home requires more hot water during the winter months, but this simply isn’t the case. You should keep your water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees or lower. Doing so reduces your utility bill by a noticeable amount, and your family won’t even notice the difference.
Reverse Ceiling Fan Rotation
Ceiling fans are great for providing a cooling breeze during the summer, but they’re also great for the winter months. When you set the blades to turn in a clockwise direction, they push hot air downward. Be sure that you’ve reversed the rotation since a counterclockwise direction creates a cooling effect. To change the rotation of your ceiling fan, look for the option on your remote control or the small button on the housing just below the blades on the fan.
Let us make sure your home is ready to handle the coming winter. Call Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning today at 703-783-0145.
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