“We embrace the change of seasons and appreciate the reminder Mother Nature provides, urging us to pay attention to the systems that operate our homes when temperatures drop and furnaces start to rumble,” said Ray Grimm, CEO of Air. Water. Energy.
Grimm and his team of HVAC, plumbing and energy specialists offer ten tips that can help homeowners save money when power is amped, improve air quality as doors and windows close tightly, and help extend the life of expensive home systems that operate plumbing, heating and electrical.
1. Replace Furnace Filters: For proper flow, dust control and energy saving, it’s important to replace furnace filters as needed throughout the cooling season. Follow the manufacture recommendations on the filters you use. Check them once per month.
2. Maintain your system: Properly maintain your heating system with regular service calls from a licensed technician. Like air filters, dirty coils and fans reduce airflow through your heating and cooling system. Annual or semi-annual check-ups can improve your system’s efficiency and prevent costly repairs.
3. Program your thermostat: You can save around 10 percent a year on your heating bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day when you’re not at home. This doesn’t mean turn the heat to 40 degrees, but turning it down to 60 overnight or while you’re away can make a big difference. Think about installing a programmable thermostat as well. Programmable thermostats allow you to automatically set specific temperatures at different times of the day.
4. Use your fans: The ceiling fans in your home are a great way to stay warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction. This will push warm air, which collects near the ceiling, back down into the room. And don’t forget to shut off ceiling fans when you’re finished in a room. Doing so will just add to your energy savings.
5. Avoid condensation and wetness: During the winter, the temperature difference between the outside and inside air leads to condensation forming. Dampness leads to mold and insect growth. The best way to avoid this is to control indoor humidity and temperature, increase ventilation with fans where water condenses, and wipe up around window frames.
6. Bundle up: Running around with shorts and a tank top in the middle of winter just doesn’t make much sense. Put on a sweater or sweatshirt, wear socks and fuzzy slippers. Put throw rugs on hardwood and tile floors to eliminate the shock of the ice cold surfaces.
7. Use space heaters: Use a space heater only in the current room you are hanging out in. This will take the nip out of the air to make you feel more comfortable without heating all of the other rooms in the house and wasting energy. Be sure to follow the operating instructions when using these devices.
8. Seal your home: Put weather stripping around windows and doors and use silicone to fill any cracks in doors, windows, etc., including the basement floor and walls. You can also cover up the attic entry with plastic, pieces of insulation, old blankets, Saran Wrap, painter drop cloth, or even a few old shirts. If the air gets too dry, try using indoor plants to add humidity for comfort and to increase indoor air quality.
9. Clean in the cold: 90 percent of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating the water. But most clothes don't require hot water to get a good cleaning, so think about using the cold water setting next time you do a load of laundry. Additionally, since as much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water, try turning off the “pre-rinse”
10. Close the vents: Close any vents going to rooms that are not used regularly. Doing so can easily cut 100-200 square feet off of your energy footprint.
Those that prefer a certified technician’s assistance with these steps can also call A.W.E. to ensure the home is ready for the chilly winter months. Arrange for a pre-season inspection, call 630-AWESOME. For more information, visit www.theAWEfactor.com.
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A.W.E. Air. Water. Energy. is a breath of fresh air for the homeowner. The Carol Stream, Illinois-based company provides one trusted source for all of a home’s vital systems. A.W.E.’s expert team works with homeowners to create the healthiest in-home environment and the most efficient levels of systems operation. With a 100% money-back guarantee, A.W.E. provides expert plumbing, geothermal, solar, air conditioning and heating service and installation. A.W.E.’s MVP Membership offers customers an ability to stay ahead of costly repairs, and many other value-added benefits. For more information, visit www.theAWEfactor.com or call 630-AWESOME.