With winter weather just around the corner, now is the time to make repairs and improvements so you can heat your home more efficiently. These simple tasks will help you get your home ready for colder weather. You and your family will be comfortable and warm without spending a fortune on heating bills.

1. Stop Drafts to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

Air leaks around windows, doors, and even through electrical outlets can contribute to heat loss and more expensive energy bills. Fall is a great time of year to inspect for leaks and seal gaps or cracks that allow cold air into your home.

An easy way to detect air leaks is by using a lit candle and holding it near a closed window or door. If you notice the flame flicker or jump, this indicates airflow in the area.

Use silicone caulk to fill in cracks or holes around your window and door frames. Airflow around electrical outlets can be blocked with foam inserts, available at your local home improvement store. Remove the outlet plate and install the thin piece of foam beneath it.

With time, the weatherstripping on your doors and windows will begin to wear out. Slide a piece of paper beneath the door and if it easily slips through, it’s best to replace the weatherstripping there.

2. Change the HVAC Filter

Your home’s heating and cooling system is fitted with a filter that works to trap pollutants from circulating through the vents. Eventually, the filter gets clogged with dust, mold, pet dander, and other debris. A clogged filter forces the heating unit to work harder to circulate air through the system. This leads to stress on the HVAC unit, poor indoor air quality, and increased energy bills.

Every 30 to 90 days, or as recommended by the manufacturer, replace your home’s HVAC filter.

3. Use Ceiling Fans to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to heat your home without having to adjust the thermostat higher. In the winter, set your ceiling fan to rotate in a clockwise direction. It’s best to choose a low speed to avoid creating a breeze and windchill in the room. By setting your fan to spin clockwise, it moves warm air near the ceiling down to circulate through the room.

4. Have the Heating System Inspected

In general, it is recommended to have your air conditioning system inspected at the beginning of spring and the heating system inspected when the weather begins to cool. Don’t wait until your system is unable to heat your home. Call a professional for a service visit in early fall.

The HVAC technician will inspect and clean the system to prepare it for cold weather. A professional will diagnose any problems before they become a major issue so it’s less likely your system will malfunction on the coldest day of the year.

5. Install a Smart Thermostat

Another great way to heat your home efficiently is by installing and using a smart thermostat. This device replaces a standard thermostat and can be programmed and controlled by your smartphone.

Set the thermostat to a lower temperature when you will be out of the house. Program it to return the living spaces to a more comfortable temperature 30 minutes or so before you are scheduled to arrive home. Adjusting the indoor temperature by just a few degrees can equal significant savings on your monthly power bills.

True North Home Inspections provides home inspection services to customers in New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.