Another hot, humid summer is behind us and now we’re looking forward to sweater weather.
We welcome this time of year not only for the fall foliage and pumpkin spice lattes, but also because it affords us a brief window between the extreme heat of summer and bitter cold of winter.
Take advantage of these moderate temperatures to prepare your home for the season ahead. The following steps will ensure you stay comfortable while also conserving energy.
Schedule a Fall Tune-Up
Is your heater prepared to keep your family comfortable all winter long? Getting it serviced before temperatures drop will help prevent breakdowns and ensure it operates at peak efficiency, lowering your energy bill. (Believe us when we say you don’t want your heater giving out in the middle of a brutal Illinois winter.)
Plus, routine maintenance extends the unit’s lifespan and validates your current or extended warranty.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
It might sound counterintuitive, but turning on your ceiling fan can improve comfort and lower your energy costs during these chilly months, provided it’s spinning in the right direction. Simple physics tells us that heat rises and cold falls. So, set your ceiling fan to turn clockwise to push warm air downward. This will help distribute warm air where it’s needed, helping your furnace operate more efficiently.
Use a Humidifier
The dry winter air can be rough on your skin and sinuses. A humidifier can help relieve some of these symptoms. Bonus: a humidifier can make a room feel warmer, so you can turn down the thermostat a degree or two. Hey, every little bit counts.
Let the Sunlight in
Don’t make your furnace do all the work. Throw open the curtains on south-facing windows to let natural light warm up your home. In contrast, keep thermal curtains closed on all other windows to help retain heat.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Heating can account for 30% of energy costs. With so much of your money going towards comfort, every degree matters. So, consider this: For every degree you lower the temperature for eight hours, you’ll save 2% on your energy bill. Smart thermostats know this. That’s why automatically adjust to a more economical temperature while you’re away. By the time you come home, it will be just as comfortable as you left it.
These small gains add up to big savings. A smart thermostat has the potential to trim your energy bill by as much as 18%.
Get Drafts Under Control
The U.S. Department of Energy Estimates you can reduce your heating costs by as much as 30% by properly insulating and winterizing your home. Check these problem spots to prevent heat loss:
Windows and doors: Test for gaps with a dollar bill. Simply close the door or window. If the dollar bill falls out the gap is too large. Use weatherstripping to make it more airtight.
Fireplace dampers: Keep them closed when not in use.
Access hatches: Use weatherstripping around the access hatch to prevent heat from escaping to the attic. The backside of the hatch should also be insulated.
These are simple DIY jobs. However, you might consider having a professional whole-home audit to identify and remedy other areas of energy loss.
Bottom line: Being comfortable this fall doesn’t have to be costly. You can curb energy consumption while maintaining a cozy atmosphere. For all your HVAC needs, contact Kern Heating & Cooling at 847-383-0350.