When prepping for winter, there’s a series of tasks you’re probably used to repeating year after year — replacing doormats that have become worn, picking up new rock salt in case the snow piles high, maybe even looking over your winter safety checklist to make sure you’ve got it all covered.
In order to be truly prepared for what winter has to bring, however, you’ll need to take care of a few quick tasks inside your home, too. We’ll walk you through three steps that will keep your house safe, warm, and comfortable for your family all winter long.
1. Prep Your Thermostat
If you don’t have one, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. They’re great energy-savers and can pay for themselves over time. Program your home’s temperature setting to stay a little lower during times when no one is home (for instance, setting it at 65 while you’re at the office). You’ll also be able to program it to shift into a more personally comfortable temperature at, say, 4:15, so that by the time you get home at 4:30 or 4:45, your house is already at optimum comfort.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat and picking one up just isn’t in the cards, just set yourself a reminder (whether it’s a special alarm on your clock or phone or even just a note taped to the fridge) to set the thermostat to a lower temperature just before you leave, then nudge it back where you’d like it to be when you get home. It’s actually more efficient to have your heating system kick on in the afternoons than to have it run all day in an empty house.
Finally, make sure you shift your ceiling fans! Even in the winter, a ceiling fan can actually make you feel warmer. Most fans contain a switch that allows you to reverse the motor, so the fan blades will turn in the opposite direction. For the winter, set your fan blades to turn at low speed in a clockwise direction. This produces an updraft, forcing warm air back down towards the ground — and letting it settle where you can actually feel it.
2. Seal Up The Windows (And Doors… And Basement…)
No matter how energy-efficient your home appliances and heating system are, they’re no match for stubborn air leaks that steal all the warm air from your home and heat your yard instead. Head over to your local home improvement store and pick up some weather stripping, making sure to seal up any gaps around windows or the door. We also recommend buying some caulk and sealing up any cracks or holes you find in the basement and around basement windows. If any of your pipes or ducts travel through exterior walls, it’s a good idea to seal them up as well to prevent air leaks from making their way outdoors.
All the warm air from your furnace can’t help if it’s just getting sucked outdoors by leaky windows or gaps in your doors — so take the time to seal ’em up and you’ll see a difference when the really cold weather hits.
3. Schedule Your Furnace Tune-up
This is a task that many homeowners neglect. The truth is, neglecting basic maintenance on your home’s furnace could lead to higher power bills, total breakdowns, a need to replace your furnace entirely, or even put your family’s health and safety at risk. Schedule an HVAC tune-up for your home heating and cooling system twice a year to keep things running at peak efficiency! You’ll lower your risk of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning and be able to find out about small issues long before they turn into big emergencies. Looking for more information on our furnace tune-ups from Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling? Just click here!
Having your gas furnace checked out is an essential part of your winter-prep list, and Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling is happy to help. We have over forty years of experience in providing exceptional heating services to our communities here in Chester, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware counties, and we’d be happy to send one of our experienced professionals out to give your home heating and cooling system a checkup, so you’re ready to take on the winter before it even hits. Reach us by phone at [hls_phone_number] or contact us online at any time to schedule service today!