We haven’t officially hit the winter season, but the cold temperatures have definitely come to stay. Make sure that your heater is ready to pump out some hot air, and that your house is ready to retain it.
We’re sharing our top tips on preparing your home for colder weather below.
Insulate Your Plumbing
Insulation isn’t just for your attic or the walls of your home, you should also make sure to insulate your plumbing.
Insulating your water heater is a relatively easy way to cut down on your energy expenses this winter. According to the US Department of Energy, wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket could reduce its standby heat losses by 25% to 45% and save you about 7% to 16% in water heating costs!
The tank isn’t the only portion that needs to be insulated, you’ll also want to add some insulation to the hot water pipes that exit from the water heater. This will prevent your water temperature from lowering on the journey from the water heater tank to the plumbing fixture. According to the US Department of Energy, this simple additive could raise your water temperature 2°F to 4°F allowing you to lower the thermostat on the water heater which will save you money and energy over time.
Replace Your Air Filters
Your air filters are an integral part of your home’s heating and cooling system, so it’s important that you keep them in good shape. The purpose of your air filters is to trap dust, dirt, contaminants, and allergens. Because of this, if they get clogged it can have a major impact on your air quality.
However, it’s not just the quality of your home’s air that can be impacted, it’s also the efficiency of your heating system. When the filters get clogged with debris, it makes it harder for air to flow through, which forces your heating system to work overtime in order to push hot air into your ductwork.
We would recommend changing your air filters every 1 to 2 months for optimal air quality and efficiency.
Sweep the Chimney
Do you have a fireplace at home? There is nothing better on a cold day than cozying up in front of your fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine and soaking up the warmth. Be careful though, there are a few things you’ll need to do before you light the first fire of the season.
Schedule a chimney cleaning and inspection. Make sure that the fireplace is in proper working condition before lighting the fire to prevent any mishaps.
Open the damper. This will allow oxygen in to fuel the fire and will allow smoke and CO2 to vent out of the fireplace.
Clean out the ash from the firebox. About an inch or so of ash is okay and will actually help to fuel your fire, but any more will suffocate the embers.
Have Your Heating System Serviced
It’s a well-known fact that you should have your heating system serviced at least twice a year. We recommend scheduling this service once in the spring and again in the fall. This is to prepare the system for either the colder temperatures or warmer temperatures to come.
During this service, we’ll be able to inspect the unit and catch any minor issues before they become major problems. We’ll also be able to take care of small tasks like switching out your air filters.
For all of your heating and plumbing needs, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Wilbur’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. We’re available by phone at 205-655-2396 or through our website!