With the recent dip in the weather and the first turn of the fall leaves upon us, Arkansans everywhere are gearing up for the Holiday Season. Travel plans, decorations, and family fun are all on our minds, but what about preparing the parts of your home you can’t see? Proper winterization is key to maintaining your beautiful home and keeping your family (and your energy bills) safe all winter long.
Nothing feels more defeating than realized you don’t have something you counted on during an emergency. The best way to prepare for winter is to double check all the cold-weather mishap essentials. This list would include a snow shovel, flashlight, candles, and warm blankets.
An easy (and free!) tip for winter home comfort is to change the rotation of your ceiling fans to counter clockwise. As heat rises, a counter-clockwise turning fan will push the warmth back down into the room.
Change Furnace Filters
Just like your Central heating and air filters require frequent replacement, the filter on your furnace will need replacing too. This will prevent dust and debris from building up and causing lost efficiency.
Exterior Pipe Winterization
Always protect your exterior plumbing from frozen water damage by disconnecting hoses and sprinkler systems, and ensure that the pipes and spigots are well insulated. If your exterior water supply has it’s own main shutoff, many homeowners choose to turn them off for the winter and allow the lines to drain completely.
Adjust Water Heater
Many homeowners are unaware that the temperature setting on their hot water heaters can be adjusted. Lowering the setting to around 120℉ will save you anywhere from 4-22% in energy savings annually and also prevent injuries from scalding water.
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again; cleaning your gutters is critical for whole home health. From roof damage to water damage to just being plain unsightly, cleaning your gutters in the fall is absolutely essential to preparing your home for harsh winter weather.
Seal Doors and Windows
If maximizing energy efficiency, and therefore savings, is the name of your game, checking your doors and windows for drafts is a must. Quick fixes like repairing cracked caulk and adding door draft stoppers can save you a shocking amount of money in energy bills, and keep your home that much cozier.
Adjust Thermostat (or switch to smart)
While inside the home, lots of families find they prefer a slightly cooler temperature than they would find comfortable during the Summer months. Luckily, turning your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter can also be a big cost saver! Save even more by choosing a Smart Thermostat that can learn your preferences and avoid heating the entire house when no one is home.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
If all else fails, make certain you’ve scheduled your annual Fall HVAC Maintenance. Between efficiency checks, A/C winterization, and carbon monoxide checks, regular fall maintenance is a must-not-skip step of winterizing any home. At Middleton Heat and Air, we also offer convenient and affordable annual maintenance agreements to make semi-annual tune ups a breeze.
Professional Duct Sealing
One last thing to consider is having your ductwork professionally inspected and sealed. Duct leaks are common, especially in areas of dramatic temperature changes like Arkansas. The good news is, they are also very easily fixed through professional inspection. While not for everyone, this step can be a huge energy saver for those who have noticed significant efficiency loss in keeping their homes heated and cooled.