With the impending drop in temperatures and cold New England weather coming, there’s no better time but now to act on preparing your home for comfort this fall. With just a few simple steps, you can better ensure your own comfort while the warm weather is still around. Here are some simple ways you can make sure you and your family stay warm and cozy at home this winter, all while staying as energy efficient as possible.
Test your systems and heating appliances
It is critical to give each of your systems a quick checkup to prevent many potential problems once the cold weather sets in. These systems can include both your HVAC system and any other means of heating your home, like fireplaces, boilers or gas heaters. Consult with a heating professional if you turn on your central heating and find its operating poorly. You may need to change your filter so that your system keeps running as efficiently as possible. Having a clean filter can make sure that you aren’t spending any extra money on bills heating your home, as your system would need to use more energy and power to keep your home warm if the filter was dirty. Whether you have a furnace, gas heater or woodburning stove, it’s important to have a professional look at your systems each year to check the performance of your system.
If you have a furnace, a professional will check for noisy belts, poor performance, and air flow (like a faulty thermostat) so that you can heat your home with your furnace at top performance.
Boilers require an annual service. Annual maintenance and monthly water quality checks can prevent premature malfunctions and potential breakdowns caused by poor water quality, leaks or water pressure. A boiler’s functionality can be easily compromised and the impact on energy efficiency can become a great expense for a homeowner.
If you have a gas heater, like a gas fireplace, a professional will clean and check that it is in good shape, both for comfort and safety concerns. They will also check the air-shutter openings, vacuuming the passages if they’re dirty, and following any other advice from your gas heater’s manufacturer.
If you have a woodburning stove, a professional will inspect your stovepipes, look for signs of rusting and corrosion, and double-check your safety features so that your home heats efficiently and safely at the same time.
Make sure your chimney is in top shape
Another important thing to go over before the cold weather hits is inspecting your chimney. Getting your chimney inspected and cleaned each year will prevent unforeseen fire hazards that can be caused by buildup or even birdnests making their way into the chimney during the summer months. If you have a buildup covering the inside of your chimney, you should call a professional chimney sweep to come clean it out. Looking for flue damages, like bird nests, is necessary if you don’t have a flue cap. Check your damper, or the metal plates that open and close above your chimney, to make sure that they move properly. And most importantly, check your chimney for any damage or weathering, so all of the heat from your fireplaces moves into your home to heat it, as opposed to leaving through the cracks. This quick checkup can make a world of a difference when it comes to heating your home in an energy efficient manner.
Caulk your window cracks
Like a damaged chimney, having cracks in your windows and doors can also let the heat that you’re paying for escape out into the cold. This not only prevents you and your family from living comfortably, but also dramatically increases your costs and the money you spend on your bills each month. To prevent any unnecessary energy usage, quickly check your home’s windows and doors to make sure that they are properly weatherized. And if you do find any cracks that could let any of your home’s heat out, caulk them with sealant so there is a layer of protection between the harsh outdoor weather and the temperature you want to live with inside.
Insulate, insulate, insulate
We cannot stress enough how important insulation is to keeping your heat inside of your home. If you don’t properly insulate your home, you won’t be able to keep any sort of desired temperature in your home, whether that be with your A/C or with your heating system. And with poor insulation at the root of your problems, it will be hard to keep your home energy efficient and cost-effective with your bills in the long run. That’s why we’re here to help. As a Mass Save® Partner, we can offer you 75%-100% off approved insultation. That way, we can bring you and your home the insulation it needs for you to save big this upcoming winter. While you’re in the process of doing your home’s fall checkup, call us at (800) 885-7283 and schedule an appointment with our energy professionals so we can make sure that you and your family will live comfortably and energy efficiently this fall & winter; the most expensive seasons for bills.