Does the onset of cold weather have you dreading upcoming heating bills? Being proactive can dramatically reduce how much you’ll spend keeping your home warm and toasty this winter. Take some time today to make sure your heating system is operating at its optimal performance level with these tips.
Insulate the Attic Access Door
An attic access door that is improperly insulated allows warm air to escape. Insulate the door by using adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. Be sure that the door is not warped, lies flat, and closes correctly. Add a latch bolt system, if necessary, to form a good seal.
Seal and Insulate Ductwork
According to Energy Star, the typical house with forced-air heating loses 20% – 30% of the air that moves through the system to poorly connected ducts, leaks, and holes. Check your home’s visible ductwork (usually in the attic, basement or crawl space) for places where your ducts may have pulled apart at their seams and corners. Repair these areas with mastic sealant or special adhesive-backed foil tape, (ironically, duct tape is not the best material for this purpose). After ensuring your ductwork is properly sealed, check that all ducts are insulated to cut down on heat loss. After insulating your ductwork, you’ll notice an immediate change in interior temperature and a change later on your utility bill.
Consult your furnace’s operating manual for information regarding the type of filter your furnace needs and how often to change it. Because each home and system can result in different amounts of time between filters needing to be changed, you can also check the filter every month or two to determine a proper replacement schedule.
Scheduled Professional Maintenance
You should schedule a professional furnace inspection once a year, preferably before the heating season begins to make sure all the elements of your furnace are working properly. During a maintenance call your technician will inspect your system, clean and adjust the gas burners and air distribution and filtration systems, and identify parts that may need to be repaired or replaced. They will then turn on the heat and let it run for a few minutes to make sure everything is working properly. By having a professional service your heating system, you’ll be sure your system is running efficiently and you’ll preserve the life of your furnace.
A little preventative maintenance can go a long way towards saving money on your energy bill. Take the time to make a few small changes today and you can enjoy a warmer home (and smaller utility bills!) this winter. Give us a call at Atlanta Air Care this season!