Here are some of the most cost-effective ways to keep your home warm so you’ll be ready for next winter.
Keep hot air flowing – Having your sofa or lounge chair right next to (or covering) a radiator or vent might feel good, but it’s also absorbing heat that could be warming your home. Encourage warm air to circulate by freeing vents, baseboards, and radiators from curtains, furniture, and other obstacles. If you have ceiling fans, use them to drive rising warm air back into the room (just make sure the blades are turning counterclockwise, otherwise they’ll bull the hot air right out of the room!). Make sure all vents are open in rooms that you use regularly, and consider closing vents in rooms that are underused for the season.
Take in free solar heat – Take advantage of the greenhouse effect by opening curtains in sun-exposed rooms during the day; just remember to close them once the sun goes down for extra insulation.
Weatherize – Draft-proofing your doors, windows, and other areas prone to air leaks will have a big impact on how warm you’ll feel in your home (and how much you’ll pay for heating, too). Simple, inexpensive measures like door sweeps, plastic sheeting, and caulk will go a long way toward cutting down those cold New England drafts.
Clean or replace your air filters regularly – A blocked air filter can prevent warm air from ever reaching your living space. Check it regularly – at least once a month – and clean or replace it when needed.
Maximize your insulation – Most homes in our area (especially older ones) are under-insulated. That’s bad news, considering you can lose as much as 20 percent of the air you pay to heat through your external walls and attic roof. At minimum, make sure the roof in your attic is insulated to proper R-values, and be sure to address floors that border unconditioned spaces like your basement or crawlspace. For more guidance on insulating your home, see the Energy.gov website.
Maintain your heating system – Routine heating system maintenance will keep your equipment running at its best – which means your home will be ready for whatever cold weather challenges come its way. As a side bonus, you’ll pay less to heat your home – and your heating equipment will last longer.
Upgrade your furnace or boiler – If your heating system is more than 10 years old, it may be time for an upgrade. A new, properly installed boiler or furnace will operate reliably and at peak efficiency from day one, keeping your home more warm and comfortable for less money.
Spring is a great time to schedule your annual heating system maintenance – beat the late summer crowd and schedule yours today!