With the kids back in school, fall is around the corner. Soon, before you know it, it’ll be knocking on your door, telling you that winter is right behind it. You don’t want to end up scrambling around and trying to get your home up-to-date by the time either one of them shows up. Check out some ways you can boost your home’s efficiency, comfort, and safety while lowering your HVAC and energy bills.
Find Those Drafts
Thermal energy can escape from and enter your home in many ways. However, the most common route is through your windows and doors. As the summer temperatures start to become cooler, start leaving your doors and windows closed to keep the cool air out. Because there’s a good chance your home has drafts (don’t worry, most homes do), you should try to find the source of them. The earlier you start looking for what’s causing the drafts in your home, the sooner you can fix them to lower your HVAC and energy costs.
Make sure all your doors and windows are closed. Turn on all the exhaust fans in your home. Turn off your heating and cooling equipment. The reason you need the exhaust fans on is so you can create drafts. Take an incense stick and light it. Go to your doors and windows and pass it slowly across them. Do this for their entire lengths. Pay attention to how the smoke from the incense moves. Any areas on your doors and windows where the smoke moves differently are where you should mark with a piece of tape for further inspection.
Visually inspect the seals and weather stripping on the doors and windows. If you see gaps, chips, cracks and just obvious damage, you’ll need to reseal them, so you don’t have to worry about any future drafts. If you have an attic, you should have it professionally inspected for drafts. If it is drafty, you may need to have it reinsulated and weatherized.
Don’t Forget to Get an HVAC and Energy Assessment
Even though it may be a few weeks to months before you turn your heating system on, there’s no time like the present to get it ready. Start off by scheduling an HVAC inspection now. Don’t wait until it gets cold out. Most HVAC contractors are not too busy at the end of the summer and early fall. Get it done before the busy season arrives.
If you decide to put off the inspection, we don’t recommend that you do. But if for some reason you do, take some time to do the following:
During inspection time, the technician will inspect your heating system, test it, check the ductwork and thermostat to ensure there are no issues. If they are, the tech will let you know what needs to be done to fix them.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to check your smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Your family’s safety is at stake. Replace the batteries and test the devices to ensure they are working properly. You should also have a fire escape plan and fire extinguisher throughout your home to be safe.
For more HVAC and energy advice to make your home safer, more comfortable and more affordable, call PJ’s HVAC at 615-645-3233.