Prepare for the Impending Winter Weather
Avoid the Worst Home Energy Efficiency Mistakes
Is your home prepared for the impending cold weather? Winter is just around the corner, and it isn’t too early to start thinking about preparing your home for the months ahead. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of being unprepared for the frigid temperatures, blistering winds and icy conditions. This lack of preparation leads to decreased energy efficiency, higher utility bills and increased headaches.
Here are some common mistakes that people make when preparing their home for winter (and how to avoid them this year).
Most common energy efficiency mistakes:
- Insufficient insulation. Most individuals understand just how important insulation is when it comes to improving their home’s energy efficiency; it slows the flow of heat throughout the home, allowing the furnace to keep living spaces comfortable more efficiently. However, many homeowners mistakenly assume that they have enough insulation. This year, be sure to check both the interior and exterior of your home for any cracks or holes on the walls, foundation or siding. Plus, don’t forget to check your attic; adding an extra layer of insulation in your attic will help you keep your heat where you want it—in your home.
- Neglected gutters. As leaves continue to fall from the trees, many of them end up in your home’s gutters. While cleaning them can be a hassle, it’s an essential step in preparing your home for the winter season. With debris in your gutters, they can’t drain properly, causing water to pool inside of them. When the water freezes, it can cause ice dams—a buildup of ice that block off your gutters entirely. As ice accumulates, it weighs them down and can eventually cause them to fall and break.
- Air leaks. One of the best things that you can do this fall is to have your home checked for air leaks. Gaps around windows and doors, in particular, are usually a major source of heat loss in your home. To seal up any gaps around your windows or doors, use weather stripping or caulking. How vital is this step? Very. According to studies, drafty doors and windows account for 15-30% of total heating costs.
- Ignoring dangerous tree branches. Dead tree limbs and branches can be weighed down by snow and ice, damaging power lines or parts of your home. While the weather’s still nice, trim any that look like they could pose a hazard.
- Forgetting to check your furnace filter. While one of the most basic steps, many homeowners neglect to change their furnace filter at the beginning of the season. Simple yet effective, changing the filter enables you to rid your indoor air of allergens, keep your energy bill in check and ensure that your furnace operates at peak performance.
- Failing to test your thermostat. It’s important to make sure that your HVAC system is functioning properly before the harsh winter weather arrives—or you risk being left in the cold. To test your system this fall, turn the heat on and set the thermostat to your normal winter temperature. If the system does not reach the temperature or takes a significant amount of time to do so, you should consult a certified technician to have it inspected.
Tonna Mechanical Heating Services
Winters in Rochester, Minnesota can be difficult to get through. That’s why, at Tonna Mechanical, we continually work to ensure that our customers are always cozy and comfortable. As the area’s only Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers, our skilled technicians can provide you with top-of-the-line furnaces and other systems—everything you need to make it through the coldest months of the year.
To learn more about how you can ensure that your home is “Just Right” for the impending winter weather, contact Tonna Mechanical.
- August 8, 2015
- By Patrick Murphy