Most people approach the winter months with a sense of dread. Not only do they know they’re going to be experiencing increasingly worsening road conditions, but they also know that the colder the winter gets, the higher their energy bills will creep. The best way to keep the bills manageable will be taking the time to prepare your home for the winter months.
You shouldn’t wait until the first blizzard to get your home ready for winter. You should start the process in the mid-autumn, preferably before the air gets chilly enough to force you to use your furnace.
Go through your home and ask yourself if there’s any rooms you don’t need to heat. If the answer to this question is yes, you should close these rooms off, and seal the vents. You won’t believe how much closing off one or two guest bedrooms reduces your heating bill. If the rooms have water pipes running through them, you won’t be able to shut off the heat completely, or the pipes will freeze.
Take a look at all of your doors and windows. They need to fit tightly against their frames. If they don’t you need to go to your local home improvement store and pick up some draft blockers. Fitting these to loose doors and windows will seal in the heat. If you have old windows, replacing them with new, energy efficient windows will reduce your heating bill.
Don’t assume that just because you’re furnace worked last spring, it will still work properly when you turn it on. Before you start to use your furnace you should have it checked out by an expert. Not only will they inspect it for damage and replace any parts that show signs of wear, but they’ll also clean the dust and debris that collects on the inside. This routine service call extends the life of your furnace while reducing the amount of energy it uses.
While many home owners have gotten good about getting their furnace inspected, they don’t usually set up a duct test. If you’ve never had your ducts tested, you could be wasting a lot of energy. A single leak outside of the thermal envelope could cost you a quarter of the energy your use.
Finding a leak in a duct can be difficult. They’re not always visible. Professionals seal off the system and use a fan, pressurized air, and non-toxic chemicals to thoroughly examine the leak. Once they’ve located the problem, they’ll be able to estimate the amount of energy lost. After the duct test, they’ll look at the furnace, the leak, and come up with the best course of action to repair the problem. The duct test doesn’t take much time, and could save you a fortune.
The professionals at Home Energy Raters LLC also offer advice about how to handle leaks and also conduct duct tests Hopkington MA to make sure homes operate at peak efficiency.
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