Your HVAC system works extra hard during winter, especially during the holiday season when friends and family are visiting and allowing drafts in via windows and doors. Help your energy bills stay reasonable this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s with these management tips that help you through the holidays:
Seal Air Leaks
Use the classic incense or candle trick to determine if there are air leaks around your doors and windows. Hold either (lit) object up to the window or door seal–if it flickers, there’s a draft. Work with caulk and weatherstripping materials to seal air leaks and subsequently keep warm air in. Also, use door draft stoppers and seal your fireplace if you will not be using it this holiday, as leaving it open is the same as keeping a window open.
Keep Drapes & Curtains Open On South-Facing Windows
Open all the drapes, blinds, and curtains on south-facing windows to let sunlight in. The heat of the sun warms your home naturally so your HVAC system doesn’t “stress” so much. You’ll also save money on electricity because you won’t need to turn on as many lights during the day.
Insulate Your Attic
Prevent rising warm air from escaping your home and forcing your HVAC system to work extra hard. Quality attic insulation traps hot air to maintain a comfortable home while also preventing ice dam formation. These “dams” form when hot attic air melts snow on your roof and refreezes along the edge, creating heavy sheets of ice that promote roof wear, tear, and leaks.
Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
Purchase a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already to control how much heat your home receives. Create heat “zones” instead of letting the HVAC system run at full blast all day and night. For example, is it necessary to heat that guest room you won’t be using until Christmas or the dining room if you and your family mainly eat in the kitchen?
Don’t Forget To Schedule Professional Maintenance
Call your local HVAC contractor to inspect your heating system before cold weather gets underway and you’re dealing with a system blowout in the middle of the holidays. The contractors will repair any minor issues, lubricate applicable parts, and clean the entire unit. They’ll also replace the filter to promote efficient airflow and suggest a cleaning schedule to keep your system in excellent condition.