While we usually have mild winters here in Birmingham, AL, it’s still beneficial to winterize your home to ensure you are minimizing unnecessary costs as much as possible. We at Hemphill Services recommend the following steps to prepare your home for winter:
Change Your Furnace Filters
Clean or replace furnace filters once a month during the winter season. Dirty filters increase energy demand and restrict airflow.
Winterize Your Water Lines
Drain any hoses and check to make sure you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment. Ensure any hoses are drained and put away. Turn off exterior water spigots and use a faucet cover or freeze cap. It’s also a good idea to seal any water leaks around the place — and don’t forget to remove any window A/C units and store them so you don’t invite cold drafts all winter.
Get Your Heating System Tuned Up
Make sure your furnace working properly. Maintaining your system by keeping furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted in order to extend the life of your unit as well as reduce energy use – you can save up to 5% of heating costs.
If your entire furnace is in need of replacement, it will cost a lot more than a system tune up — but replacing an inefficient furnace for a new energy-efficient model will save you every month through the heating season. And did you know that federal tax credits for new furnaces are available, which can cover 30% of the cost.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
The US Department of Energy reports that for every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you can save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill. Save money by keeping the temperature down when you’re not at home. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set the temperature lower when you’re not at home and automatically return to a comfortable temperature when you are.
Seal Your Ducts and Chimney
Did you know that 10% to 30% of heated (or cooled) air escapes from ducts? It’s important to check your ducts, either yourself or by a professional technician who can test your duct system and repair any problems. According to the American Solar Energy Society, the average home can save up to $150 annually by properly sealing ducts.
Your chimney is another huge source of heat loss. If not in active use, consider plugging it up with a chimney balloon to keep drafts out and heat in.
As winter and the holidays approach, make sure your heating system is running efficiently and effectively – so all you need to worry about is if you want your hot chocolate with or without marshmallows! Keep heat in, the cold out, and your heating bill down. Contact Hemphill Services if you need assistance with preparing your home for winter.