4 Tips to Keep the Heat In and the Cold Out

4 Tips to Keep the Heat In and the Cold Out

Before winter hits, you want to make sure that your home’s HVAC system is ready to go. You don’t want to be caught without heat on freezing days. Besides checking your HVAC system, you should look for ways to improve your home’s insulation and efficiency so that your utility bills stay under control. Here are some tips to keep the heat in and the cold out.

Get Your Unit Serviced by an HVAC Technician

Some homeowners drag their feet when it comes to inspections. However, some HVAC warranties depend on strict adherence to maintenance schedules. If you neglect annual maintenance or professional installations and repairs, your warranty could be voided. If you lose heat this winter and accidentally void your warranty, you could have to pay more for repairs.

A professional inspection will protect your warranty, so have an HVAC technician check your system before winter hits. He or she will look for:

  • Safety issues (like current combustion gas levels compared to unit recommendations)
  • Leakages in intake grills
  • Debris in the blower wheel
  • Corrosion on metal elements

With this inspection and any necessary repairs, your technician will reduce the likelihood of breakdowns in your system. He or she can also clean out the air ducts with a high-pressure vacuum. This process helps remove debris that could be impeding the flow of warm air.

Seal Leaks in Air Ducts and Duct Joints

Leaks in ducts can make your system work harder and make your home’s heating inefficient. Go to a home improvement store and pick up a smoke pencil. These tools can be used to identify duct leaks and drafts in a home. When you suspect an area that’s leaking, you can hold the smoke pencil near the spot, and if there’s a leak, then the smoke will drift. Mark areas that need repairs with a wax pencil.

If you’ve already had your HVAC system serviced for the year, then you can patch these small leaks yourself with HVAC tape or duct sealant. Duct sealant is a doughy material that you can safely use on ductwork to remove leaks. Some sealant works in caulking guns while others may be applied with paintbrushes. If your system hasn’t been serviced, an HVAC technician can repair these leaks as part of their maintenance.

Keep Registers Open

It may seem counter-intuitive to leave registers open in rooms you rarely use. Some homeowners believe it’s better to block warm air from those rooms so that it can go elsewhere. However, instead of improving efficiency, blocked registers create pressure that causes cold air to be pulled in. This additional pressure can sometimes cause small leaks, which in turn causes warm air to be lost instead of circulated throughout the house.

If you can, keep all of your registers open; this will keep your home warm and reduce your heating bills. If you must close off a register or an entire duct, contact your HVAC technician so he or she can make the adjustment without sacrificing efficiency.

Use Ceiling Fans to Circulate Air

This may seem like another counter-intuitive step. However, a lot of ceiling fans have two settings: a clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation. During colder months, switch your ceiling fans to a clockwise direction.

Because heat rises, the warm air from your system will move to the ceiling. When fans are switched to a clockwise direction, they can push this rising heat back down to the floor. This additional circulation can be a boon if you have high ceilings or large rooms with stagnant air quality.

Try out one or all of these tips this winter so that your home stays warm and so that your HVAC system stays in good condition. If you are looking for an HVAC service, contact us at Baton Rouge Air Conditioning and Heating. We can help with heating installations, repairs, and tune-ups.

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