Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning
Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors
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When cold weather hits, without hesitation, we turn on the furnace to keep us warm. Then you get your next electric or gas bill and see the increase. Home heating is typically one of the more significant home expenses you face as a homeowner…as much as 40% of your utility bill.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help lower these costs and help your system work more efficiently. Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning’s team of HVAC technicians can assist and/or advise you on how to stay warm this winter without sacrificing your wallet.
Here are a few of our favorite tips.
Change Your Filter
One area that’s vital throughout the year, and remains so during the winter, is your furnace’s filter. This relatively small, inexpensive component plays a huge role in the efficiency and effectiveness of your HVAC system. If it has been more than a few months since you last changed or cleaned your filter, now is the time.
You may be surprised at how much dirt and debris an old filter can hold, and that’s not including any mold or bacteria that it might be harboring. Regular replacement and/or cleaning will remove the trapped particles and allow air to flow more easily through your system. Clogged filters inhibit the air flow which puts undue pressure on your system and causes it to run harder and longer…increasing your utility bill.
Choosing the right filter is more important than many homeowners understand. And the choices can be overwhelming. In our blog article Choosing the Right Furnace Filter we explain the different types of filters. But we encourage you to ask one of our HVAC specialists to help you choose the right filter for your family and environment.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Another cost-effective way to reduce your heating bill during the winter is by upgrading your thermostat. Older models can often be difficult to program…if programmable at all… and may not offer any kind of automation or smart features. This means that you, the homeowner, are left to remember to manually adjust the temperature day in and day out, which costs you in both time and money.
Newer thermostats are much easier to program. Some even come with preset modes for winter that will help to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without manual adjustments on your part. Many newer Smart Thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home remotely. Imagine being able to lower the temperature while you are away at work and/or school all day and then increasing it so your home is warm and cozy by the time you walk in the door…all from the convenience of your phone.
If you’re interested in upgrading your thermostat, contact us today and learn about our smart options.
Seal Doors and Windows
Before the coldest parts of the winter hit, move through your home and inspect your doors and windows. You will want to feel if there is any cool air seeping in around the frames or from under the doors. These gaps will allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter.
One of the simplest ways to keep drafts out is by applying some simple insulating foam strip around the frames of exterior doors. This will ensure that cold air doesn’t enter your house during those windy nights, which will reduce your energy costs as a result. If your inspection revealed small cracks or holes, those should be filled. A simple caulk will do the job.
Weather stripping can be used for window leaks as well. There are several different options available at the hardware store.
Keep Vents and Registers Clear
Blockages or obstructions within your vents or registers will cause your HVAC system to work harder to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The additional drain on your system will shorten its lifespan as well as cost you unnecessarily in the process.
Inspect each vent throughout your home every so often during the year. If you find any obstructions covering part of all of the vent (a pile of clothes, a stack of books, etc.), be sure to clear them away as soon as possible. In addition, make sure that furniture and other items aren’t blocking the airflow coming out of registers. If they are, try to move them to another part of the room.
Utilize Your Ceiling Fan
Some assume ceiling fans are only useful during the warmer months of the year, but the truth is they can be very beneficial during the winter. In fact, by utilizing your ceiling fan in conjunction with your thermostat, you may be able to reduce the amount of energy that you need to heat your home by up to 10%.
This is achieved by utilizing the directional settings of the fan. By turning the fan to clockwise during the winter instead of its normal counterclockwise, you create an updraft that draws warm air up to the ceiling and pushes it back down again. This will help eliminate any cold spots in your home.
For more on how to keep your heating bill down without sacrificing any comfort this winter, or to learn about any of our quality HVAC services, speak to the team at Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning today.