With winter around the corner, it’s time to take a look at your home comfort systems to make sure that you are getting the most out of them. Your entire house is an energy system with parts that depend on one another.
If one part of your system is flawed, the others will suffer the consequences. For your system to work most effectively while conserving energy, it’s important to take a whole-house approach by using these six tips to keep your southwest Illinois home warm and comfortable this winter and throughout the year.
- Seal air leaks in your home’s envelope and in the area between your attic and living spaces. When your home is riddled with leaks, you don’t have control over air flow. With leaks sealed, less unconditioned air will get in to your home, and less conditioned air will escape, and your HVAC equipment will not have to work as hard to maintain desired temperatures.
- Inspect your ductwork for any leaks. Any leaks will need to be repaired, and ductwork should then be insulated, especially ducts that run through unconditioned spaces such as crawlspaces and wall cavities. When your ducts leak, conditioned air is being dumped into useless places. This makes your equipment work harder and less efficiently.
- If your home is not properly insulated, you’re wasting energy and spending money you shouldn’t have to. Proper insulation will help keep the warmth inside this winter, and keep it out in the summer. You can get the most benefits from the easiest insulating task – in your attic.
- Standard windows allow for substantial heat transfer. Consider upgrading to Energy Star certified windows with built-in thermal resistance. In the winter, use thick drapes and curtains as a second line of defense against heat loss.
- Have your HVAC system maintained at least annually. Proper maintenance is important in ensuring that your whole-house approach isn’t sabotaged by defective equipment and systems.
- All lighting and appliances use energy and give off heat. Replacing these items with energy-efficient models (Energy Star!) will be good for your home and your energy bill.
Taking a whole-house approach is the best way to maximize the efficiency of your home. For more tips on how to maximize efficiency throughout your southwest Illinois home, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling, and we will make sure you stay a little warmer this winter. We serve Maryville, Hamel, Staunton and Bethalto, among other Metro-East communities.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about comfort systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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