Although Texas luckily has fairly mild winters compared to most of the rest of the country, there are still many times when you’ll need to rely on your heating system to stay warm. Having your heating running for even a few hours most days can be expensive. The good news is that it is easy to improve your home’s heat without breaking the bank, and here are some tips on how to do just that.
Schedule a Heating Tune-Up
Regular maintenance is essential for your heating system to continue to function at its peak efficiency and effectiveness, and this is true no matter whether you rely on a furnace, heat pump or some other form of heating. A wide variety of issues can limit the effectiveness of your heating system and cause it to produce much less heat at a time and thus need to run for longer periods.
Having your heating system professionally inspected and maintained will ensure that it is free from any issues that could hamper its performance and lead to higher energy costs. Scheduling an annual heating tune-up is also the best way to prevent your heating system from suddenly failing in the middle of winter.
Make Sure Windows and Doors Are Well Sealed
Windows and doors can be major contributors to heat loss by allowing hot air to escape and letting cold seep in from outside. According to the EPA, approximately 25 to 30% of the energy used to heat and cool the average home is wasted due to heat loss from windows and doors. If your windows and doors are leaking air due to not being properly sealed, your home will always feel colder. Your heating system will also need to run much more often and thus your energy bills will also be higher.
These issues can be easily prevented by inspecting the caulking on the inside and outside of all window and door frames. If any of the caulking is cracked or missing, you will want to scrape the old caulk away and reseal around the frame to ensure there are no air leaks. You can also check for leaks by feeling around the inside of the openings on a cold day to see if you can feel any cold air coming in.
Replacing old single-pane windows with more energy-efficient double- or triple-pane windows can also make a massive difference in preventing heat loss. If you can’t afford to replace your windows at the moment, consider sealing them with a plastic window kit to help make them better insulated.
Insulate Your Attic Floor
Many older homes have little to no insulation in the attic, and this can make it nearly impossible to keep your home warm on even milder winter days. If your attic floor isn’t insulated, it will allow much of the hot air from your heating system to escape. Insulating your attic floor is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent heat loss and help to ensure that your home always stays warmer. It will also provide major benefits during the summer by keeping the attic’s hot air from penetrating into the living areas.
Use Exhaust Fans Sparingly
If you’re like most people, use the exhaust fan in your kitchen every time you cook and the exhaust fan in your bathroom every time you shower or take a bath. While exhaust fans are definitely useful, you should limit how much you use them during the winter. Whenever an exhaust fan runs, it draws air outside and creates a pressure difference in the building. This pressure difference then causes cold air to rush inside through any gaps or cracks in the building, which can quickly cool your home to the point where your heating system needs to kick on. For this reason, we recommend only using exhaust fans when absolutely necessary and also making sure to turn them off as soon as they are no longer needed.
Keep Your Ceiling Fans On
If your home has ceiling fans, they can also be a huge help during the winter. Running your fans in reverse or clockwise direction will help circulate warm air and enable you to set your thermostat slightly lower without any noticeable difference in comfort. Hot air always rises and stays up near the ceilings, and your ceiling fans can help to push this air back down so that the rest of the room always feels warmer. While it may not sound like much, the EPA estimates that ceiling fans can help reduce your energy costs by around 5% to 10% in both winter and summer.
If you have any questions about your home’s heating system, AirDepot is here to help. We specialize in heating maintenance and repairs, and our team can also assist with heating installation. We also offer professional air conditioning maintenance, repair and installation services for both residential and commercial customers. Call us today to schedule a heating tune-up or if you need any other HVAC service in Cypress or the surrounding areas.