As winter approaches, it’s time to prepare your home for chilly weather. In the same way you update your wardrobe for winter, you need to tune up your home’s heating system to ensure you stay comfortable. Doing this will also improve the air quality in your home – which can help protect you and your family from colds and the flu. As a big bonus, you’ll save money on energy bills.
Here are 4 ways to get your home ready for winter and save on energy costs.
1. Prevent drafts. If you can see daylight coming under your door or around the outside of your window frames, there could be leaks. It’s time to re-caulk if these seals aren’t tight. Also, make sure your chimney damper is closed so cold air can’t enter your house through the flue when the fireplace is not in use. And check your basement for any tiny holes between the foundation and house. Seal these with foam to keep cold air outside – as well as critters like mice.
2. Consider the source(s) of heat in your home. An efficient and cost-effective heating solution is a hybrid approach that uses the combination of a heat pump and gas furnace. Think of it like a hybrid vehicle. Optimize energy use by installing an electric heat pump, which will maintain the warmth of your home in milder weather. And when those frigid temperatures creep in, your system automatically switches over to the gas furnace for more robust heat. It’s the best of both worlds – it can save you money and is better for the planet, too. Also consider buying a programmable (or smart) thermostat for another sustainable way to save money on your utility bills.
3. Keep the air in your house clean. Don’t forget to replace the filters in your HVAC system every 30 to 90 days. This easy step helps keep your central air conditioner and furnace running smoothly by protecting the mechanicals from dust and debris. Also, consider investing in a whole home air purifier to improve indoor air quality by removing airborne particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander. Some purifiers even help neutralize airborne viruses and bacteria.
4. Control the humidity levels in your home. It’s easier for viruses to stay airborne longer when the indoor relative humidity is too low. Proper indoor humidity levels – 30 to 50% – in your home can significantly reduce the chances of you and your family members contracting an airborne illness. Consider adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system if your home regularly falls below that 30 percent, or a dehumidifier if it’s consistently above 50 percent.
Trane Residential products not only make your home more comfortable, but also can improve its indoor air quality and save on energy costs. Here are some products that can help.
A ComfortLink® II XL 1050 Smart Thermostat optimizes your home’s temperature and humidity levels. It’s easily accessible from a smartphone, tablet, or computer to help ensure your changing temperature needs are fulfilled.
A CleanEffects® Whole Home Air Cleaner filtration system removes 99.98% of allergens and airborne particles throughout the house. It helps remove indoor pollutants like dust, pollen, and pet dander. It also assists with neutralizing some airborne viruses and bacteria that can lead to illness.
An XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed Heat Pump works with your gas furnace as part of a hybrid heating system that saves you money and optimizes energy use. The heat pump maintains the warmth of your home in milder weather – and when the temperature drops, the furnace kicks in. And when the warm months arrive, it provides the cooling abilities of an air conditioner.