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As winter approaches, we all know the burnt smell that moves throughout the house as we turn on the furnace for the first time in the heating season. Leaving the furnace off for spring, summer, and early fall means a buildup of dust, causing the smell when they burn off, and high energy bills as we begin to adjust our heating to feel comfortable. With a few simple tips, you can winter proof your home to reduce energy bills and to achieve maximum energy efficiency.

Tips to Winter Proof Your Home

1. Seal drafts before it gets cold. 

One of the biggest issues homeowners face in the winter is the chilly feeling of a draft—even when the thermostat is turned all the way up. Before the colder months set in, make a plan to seal any drafts and air leaks.

Feel around doors and windows for any gaps that allow air in and make a plan to seal or replace these areas. For leaky windows, caulking or weatherstripping is an effective method. For larger gaps that cannot be replaced, consider using foam sealant to fill them in.

If you’re unsure if you have an air leak, a good trick is to hold a lit match or lighter in front of the area in question. If the flame flickers as if it’s being blown by the wind, you have an air leak.

2. Insulate your pipes.

According to a study done by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, by insulating your hot water pipes, you can raise water temperatures by four degrees and can save you up to 4% on your overall winter energy bill! While this project is slightly more time consuming (taking a few hours), it can keep water temperatures high and costs low.

3. Insulate your water heater tank.

In addition to sealing pipes, consider sealing/insulating your water heater as well. By properly insulating your water tank, you can save an average of 45% on lost standby heat and over 16% in water heater-associated costs. Unsure if your water heater needs insulation? If your water heater is warm to the touch, that means it is time to consider water heater insulation to reduce standby heat loss. Water heater having issues? Maybe we can help (link to our water heaters:

4. Control unnecessary moisture. 

Water vapor commonly moves through the home by heat transfer, through materials, and with the air currents. Around 98% of all indoor water vapor comes from air movement and drafts.

Begin by checking the moisture levels in your crawlspace, basement, or foundation, as lower-level area moisture has higher chances of invading the household. If you notice that the humidity levels in your home are particularly high, you might consider purchasing a whole-house dehumidifier to keep those levels in check.

Schedule Maintenance with Jennings Heating and Cooling

Winter is a fun and enjoyable season as long as your home is prepared. By following these simple tips, you can winter proof your home in advance and keep your HVAC system running efficiently when you need it the most!

At Jennings, we know that HVAC maintenance is the most important regular step to keep your system running smoothly. Routine maintenance is important when transitioning from using your air conditioner to using your furnace. With the Jennings Rewards Club, we offer three levels of rewards benefits to keep your system running smoothly and help keep you on track with preventative maintenance.

Are you experiencing high energy bills? Is your home feeling uncomfortable as the weather cools? Contact Jennings Heating and Cooling today to schedule an appointment.