10 Ways to Keep Your Home Warm in South Jersey This Winter
Winter’s on the way. Is your South Jersey home ready for it?
Preparing your house for the cold helps prevent costly HVAC breakdowns and soaring energy bills.
Plus, you’ll feel more comfortable in your home throughout the entire season.
- Get Your Heater Tuned Up
- Put In a New Air Filter
- Get an Energy Audit
- Seal Your Windows
- Make Sure Vents are Clear
- Use a Humidifier
- Lay Down Rugs
- Add Extra Blankets
- Get a Smart Thermostat
- Close Up Outdoor Plumbing
Get Your Heater Tuned Up
First things first: Make sure your HVAC system is ready for the winter! With a heater tune-up, a tech cleans out the system, lubricates the moving parts, and replaces any worn-down or broken items.
This way, you avoid breakdowns in the middle of winter when your system can handle the heavy workload. And, when the system is optimized, you’re not worried about weak air circulation. That would leave your house much colder.
The other bonus: Lower energy bills. When your system is optimized, it needs less energy to do the job. That means less you pay on your utility bills.
Change Your Air Filter
Even if you don’t get a tune-up, at the least, change the air filter on your system. They cost less than $15, and it takes only minutes to replace them.
The filter traps all sorts of contaminants before they circulate throughout the system and your home.
But, eventually, it gets clogged. When that happens, not even air passes through the filter effectively.
So, you should put in a new filter every season. Simply slide the old one out of its holder and put in the new one.
Get an Energy Audit
Now that your heater is ready for the work ahead, it’s time to make sure the rest of your home is all set. A good first step is looking for any areas to improve.
With an energy audit, you’ll get a detailed report of every spot in your home where you’re losing heat. And, it includes steps you can take to insulate your home better.
Your home will be warmer with less heat escaping through drafts. And, you’ll lower your energy bills when it takes fewer resources to keep the house warm.
Seal Your Windows
One of the most common places to lose heat is your windows. So, even without an energy audit, they’re a good place to start preventing drafts.
You have a few choices on how to do this.
The first is draft blockers. They’re rolls of fabric and insulated material that lay right in front of the window. This prevents heat from seeping out any openings where the window meets the frame.
The other is putting up window sealers. They’re essentially sheets of plastic that go over the window and frame.
These are more effective, but not as aesthetically pleasing. Draft blockers come in a variety of styles to match the room’s design.
Make Sure Vents Are Clear
Air circulation is a critical part of your HVAC system. After all, your heater can’t do much if the warmth it’s generating can’t travel all through your house.
And, a common problem preventing this is blocked vents. When furniture is too close to — or right in front of — a vent, that air won’t circulate enough.
Even worse, the heat backs up back into the furnace. This can cause a major problem, including a breakdown, after a while.
So, make sure there’s nothing within 18 inches of any vent.
Use a Humidifier
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” right? Well, there’s a lot of truth to it. And, it can work to your advantage in the winter.
Humid air naturally feels warmer than dry air. The water vapor traps heat and helps keep it close to your skin.
The problem in the winter, however, is that the cold air is naturally dry. And, a forced-air system provides more dry heat.
By adding a humidifier, you’ll need less heat when the house feels warmer. You’ll also avoid problems like dry skin and nosebleeds. These common winter ailments occur when the air is uncomfortably dry.
Lay Down Rugs
When it comes to heating, being comfortable head-to-toe is an important factor. And, toes are what we’re thinking about when we suggest laying down extra rugs in the wintertime.
Tile or hardwood floors are colder than carpeted ones. Nothing is absorbing or trapping the heat there. As a result, you’ll feel a little colder walking on them — especially in slippers or barefoot.
So, you’d be surprised what a difference a few area rugs can make. The thicker, the better
Add Extra Blankets
You probably already take out heavier blankets and winter comforters when the temperature starts dipping. You can also help keep warm by adding more blankets in the living room and other areas of the house.
That doesn’t mean you have to be wrapped up in them all the time. But, placing blankets on couches and easy chairs means there’s more insulation when you’re not moving.
After all, you’ll stay a little warmer when you’re up and moving. Once you settle in to read a book or watch TV, your body temperature may drop. Sitting around blankets helps keep heat from escaping your body.
Get a Smart Thermostat
The latest and greatest in thermostats do much more than control the temperature in your home. Today’s wi-fi-enabled smart thermostats also help track your energy usage. Eventually, they can even start adjusting themselves to save you money.
You can also track your home’s activity and make adjustments from virtually anywhere using an app on your smart device.
Close Up Outdoor Plumbing
Finally, take a survey outside for any last insulation opportunities. Here, we’re talking about outdoor showers or spigots for a hose.
When the temperatures start dropping, turn off the supply and drain any water that’s still in them. Then, get an insulated cover for them.
Most covers cost under $10, and they can make a big difference.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more ways to keep your home warm in Marmora, Avalon, or Ocean City, NJ, this winter, give Broadley’s a call.
We’ll help you identify any problems in your home, and come up with a plan to stay comfortable all winter long.