Strategies To Make Your Home Heat U-Smart This Winter
Do you cringe every time you turn up your thermostat? Do you reach for a blanket and shiver your way through the winter for the sake of preserving your pocketbook? Do you tell your kids to put on slippers and sweatshirts and tough out the chill? Actually, those things are all pretty smart and free ways to deal with winter’s cold. There are some other things you can do to make your home heat-smart.
Try these energy-saving tips:
- Open your curtains and let the sunshine heat things up, but be sure to close them again at night to keep heat in.
- If you have a fireplace, close the flue.
- Put down some rugs to make hard surfaces a little more toe-toasty.
- Keep your spot heating to a minimum. Those little electric heaters take a lot of juice!
- Don’t block air vents with drapes or furniture.
- Change your furnace filters monthly. Dirty filters make your furnace work harder. Replacing your filters is one of the easiest, most economical things you can do to enhance your furnace’s efficiency.
- Your furnace needs room to breathe. Don’t stack anything near it or on it.
- Little leaks can be a big problem and will let your precious heat seep right out. Leaky windows and loose pipe or electrical openings that lead to your attic can be filled with caulking, foam or insulation, depending on their severity. Leaky front doors can be helped a lot with the addition of a storm door.
- If you are an Xcel Energy customer, you can qualify for a discount-rate energy audit of your home. Check out this link for more information.
Hiring a professional HVAC contractor (like Finken) can help you make your home more efficient in many ways:
- We can clean and repair your ducts.
- Having gunk and grime in your air ducts makes your furnace work harder which means it takes more energy to have the same heating effect. Cleaning your ducts opens up the airways to your home so your furnace can breathe efficiently. Cleaning your ducts also contributes to the health quality of the air in your home. Many household ducts contains dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander – things we’d rather not breathe in when circulated through our house every time the furnace kicks in.
- Gaps in forced-air ducts are pretty common and can cut your home’s heating efficiency by a whopping 40 percent. There could be gaps that you can’t see pouring heated air into an attic or crawl space.
- We can make sure your furnace is operating at maximum efficiency with our furnace check-ups starting at $79. See our website, finkens.com for a coupon.
- We can install a new, energy-efficient heat pump that could cut your heating costs in half. Several local energy companies offer healthy rebates to help you upgrade. If you are an Xcel customer and want to learn more, click here. If you are a Stearns Electric customer, click here.
- Get your furnace filters from Finken! We have pretty much any size you could possibly need.
- We can install a HouseWise energy-wise thermostat that you can program with your phone to work optimally for your family’s needs. No more wasted energy with this smart little appliance! Here’s a little video to show you more. Plus, if you purchase a 95.5% efficiency or better furnace before January 1st, we will give you a free HouseWise thermostat!
- We can install a new high-efficiency furnace or boiler and take your outdated, energy-guzzling units away. The up-front cost is a small price to pay for the priceless long-term savings and reduced effect on the environment. Here’s a link to Xcel for a rebate on a new heating system.
- We can help you with dual-fuel solutions too! Learn about the cost-savings program through Stearns Electric here.
- Install a whole-house humidifier. Adding safe levels of humidity to your home not only feels warmer than chilly dry air, it’s better for your health too. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which raises your indoor humidity level to 45 to 50 percent. At that level, your indoor environment may feel warmer and moisture-sensitive furnishings are better protected from dry-air damage. Humidifiers also help prevent the uncomfortable physical effects of dry, wintry air such as dry, scaly skin, sore, scratchy throats, bloody noses, cracked lips, dry sinus passages and respiratory irritation. Studies also show that properly humidified air can help prevent or ease the symptoms of the common cold, the flu, upper respiratory infections, and sinus infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of humidifiers around young children and infants who may have difficulty clearing breathing passages on their own and to treat upper respiratory infections. Humidifiers are also effective when used to alleviate allergic conditions and to ease asthma flare-ups.
At Finken, we’re happy to help you have a healthy, comfortable, affordable heating and cooling system for your family. For more energy-saving ideas from Finken, please give us a call at 1-877-FINKENS or check out our website at www.finkens.com. Thanks for thinkin’ Finken!