As a Colorado resident, you know the true meaning of winter. Heaps of snow, strong winds and freezing temperatures all combine to make the season challenging. But true to the Colorado spirit, you make the most of every winter by hitting the slopes and enjoying the great outdoors.
And when the weather gets too cold and too snowy, you rely on your heater to keep you safe and warm. But have you ever stopped to consider if your heater, like you, makes the most of winter?
Colorado homeowners demand the best of their heaters each winter, with good reason. But after a few harsh winters, many heaters become less efficient. Inefficient heaters not only lead to cold houses and discomfort, but they also cost you more money.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your heater’s efficiency.
1. Change your air filter.
When was the last time you changed your HVAC system’s air filter? If you’re like most homeowners, you may sometimes forget about this simple task until you notice a huge spike in your heating bill. Dirty filters restrict airflow through your system, forcing your heater to work harder to heat your home. Eventually, you might even need to call a heating and cooling company for furnace repair in Denver!
To save yourself some money, change the filter at least every three months. You may need to change it every month during the winter when you use your heater the most. Some air filters are washable, so make sure you don’t throw away a filter that’s still useable!
2. Eliminate drafts around your home.
Nothing zaps your heater’s efficiency like a drafty door or window. Not only do drafts allow cold air in, but they also let warm air escape from your home. These factors force your heater to work double time to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Take the following steps to eliminate drafts from your home:
- Examine your electrical outlets. Electrical outlets on exterior walls tend to be drafty because they don’t have insulation behind them. As a result, heat leaks around and through the box. To solve this problem, remove the boxes’ cover plates and fill any small gaps you see with acrylic latex caulk. Fill larger gaps with foam sealant. Install a foam gasket over the outlet, then replace the cover.
- Look for holes in exterior walls. While you plug leaks around electrical outlets, seal holes where gas lines, pipes and electrical cables enter your home. Chances are there are some gaps around these holes through which heat can escape. Use the same materials to seal these holes as you do holes around electrical outlets.
- Seal your ductwork. One of the main forms of heat loss is through air ducts. By sealing them or adding insulation, you’ll prevent air from escaping before it circulates through your home.
3. Weatherize windows and glass doors
Glass isn’t the most efficient insulating material. In fact, you lose about 25% of your home’s heat through your windows and glass doors. But by covering windows and sliding glass doors with plastic film, you can retain about 14% of that heat. You can find transparent plastic film at most home improvement stores. It’s easy to install, and it won’t harm your paint when you remove it.
Also consider replacing worn or torn weatherstripping or adding it if you haven’t already. Look at the seals around your doors and windows. If the seals are coming loose or have holes in them, remove them and install new seals. Other forms of weatherizing add caulk and foam tape around the outside of the windows, improving the seal between indoor and outdoor temperatures.
4. Keep air moving
You don’t need to turn off your ceiling fans when summer ends. Air movement is key to even heat distribution in your home, and ceiling fans provide you with the best way to keep air flowing. Look for a switch on the main body of your fans. By flipping this switch, you’ll reverse your fan’s direction and force air upward. When the hot air meets the ceiling, it will move toward your walls and distribute itself throughout the room.
You should also make sure there’s nothing obstructing the air ducts, including the registers and other ventilation openings. A vent could have been accidentally closed or a piece of furniture may be disrupting airflow. Ensuring all registers and vents are clear of obtrusions will provide the best circulation.
5. Schedule regular maintenance with a professional.
Periodic preventative furnace maintenance is essential if you want your furnace efficiency to remain at peak levels and run smoothly for years to come. Have a professional technician tune up your heater each fall before chilly temperatures really set in. A professional can identify problems before they manifest and make necessary repairs. Even if there’s nothing wrong with your heater, they can keep key components clean and in the best shape.
For Coloradoans, winter should be a time of outdoor excitement and cozy warmth at home. Make the most of the season by using these tips and working with a heating professional in your area. For trusted heating and cooling repair in Denver and other communities in the metro area, call Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning at 303-412-8015 today!