When it comes to staying warm during the winter, many of us don’t think beyond cranking up our heaters or turning on the fireplace to beat the cold and keep our homes comfortable.
Since we spend much more of our time indoors during the winter months trying to stay out of the cold weather, there are a few things to remember to do to make sure your home is safe and warm this winter.
Take a look at the list of tips we have provided below that could help you avoid heating problems.
Make sure your furnace is good for the winter
You’ll want to have peace of mind knowing your furnace is in top shape and ready for heating duties for the winter months. So even before the cold weather starts rolling in, you must have had arranged for an inspection of your furnace to make sure it will be working properly during winter.
Common indicators that your furnace might need professional assistance are:
- abnormal sounds such as banging and rattling
- a malfunctioning thermostat
- an unignorable lack of heating effects (like when it’s blowing cold air instead of hot air)
- when it’s producing weird odors
- the pilot light is always acting up
- the air filters are terribly clogged up
Remember: it is essential to ensure that your furnace is always working properly so that you can have ready access to heat this wintertime. Paying for regular furnace maintenance costs (a lot) less than going for a complete furnace replacement every time the system goes down on you.
Read our related piece, “What Are The Most Common Furnace Problems (That I Should Know About)?”
Practice space heater safety
Many homeowners may decide to make use of a space heater (or a good number of them) as an efficient and relatively easy way to heat portions of their homes.
While most space heaters are safe and well made, be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation when using a space heater. Remember to only use the space heater on hard, flat surfaces and to keep it at least 10 feet away from anything flammable.
Use a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat will not only help you keep your home nice and warm this winter, but it also helps reduce energy costs by keeping your home’s heating and air system working efficiently.
By programming your thermostat to heat your home when it’s needed and to turn it off when no one is home, not only will your home stay warmer but your energy costs will stay low as well.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can potentially kill you if exposed to it for too long. How do you get carbon monoxide in your home? Carbon monoxide can come from a number of sources:
- Furnace systems and chimneys with leaks
- Kerosene heaters
- Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
- Gas ranges
- Appliances fueled by gasoline
- Gas-fueled space heaters
- Fireplaces that aren’t vented
- Vehicle exhaust
Your home is not truly safe without the presence of carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. Just like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors can alert you to the unusual build-up of carbon monoxide in your living spaces. You should also have these carbon monoxide detectors regularly checked for functionality and battery power, in every home as a matter of safety.
Have your chimney thoroughly cleaned and inspected
If you have a fireplace and plan on operating it during the winter, it’s a good idea to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional– ideally before winter sets in. As mentioned earlier, your chimney could become a source of carbon monoxide when it’s not regularly maintained.
Seal leaks in windows and doors
One primary way that heat escapes our homes is through leaks and cracks in the seals of windows and doors, in addition to leaks in the ceiling and attic. Do yourself the favor of checking all of those areas for leaks and re-caulk them if necessary.
Check all vents
It can be easy to forget about checking all the vents in your home but doing so is important because a blocked vent can impact how well a heating and air unit is able to do its job and properly heat your home in the winter.
Make sure to move any pieces of furniture or other objects that are blocking or obstructing the flow of air coming from the vents. Or check for the build-up of dirt, cobwebs, or debris that can hamper airflow in any way.
Check out our related piece, “How to Prepare Your Furnace for the Winter Season”.
A Final Word on Staying Safe and Warm (This Winter Season)
Gearing your home up for the winter season is key to having a comfortable and worry-free time when the colder months start coming around.
Always put a premium on safety.
And remember to have your furnace scheduled for regular tune-ups, at the very least just before winter starts.
When you schedule a professional tune-up with a Heating and Air expert like All Year, your home’s heating and air system can be inspected for problems and properly maintained for the demands you will be putting on it this winter.
In addition to performing a thorough tune-up, changing the air filter, and checking for mechanical problems that could affect airflow, your All Year heating and air technician can give you valuable information that could help you improve the efficiency and safety of your heating system even further.
All Year Heating and Air is Sacramento’s number one HVAC company in professional air conditioning and heating repairs, serving the neighborhoods in and around Sacramento for over 40 years now, including communities in Roseville, El Dorado County, and Placer County, among others. Give our team a call today at (916) 922-7796.