It’s been a brutally hot summer for most of us, and over the last week I’ve seen quite a few posts all over my social media feeds with people who have had their AC units die on them. Their house temps climbed almost 90 degrees—yikes! We’ve been in that boat before, and it’s terrible. Has this ever happened to you? When it happened to us, I did my research, and made 5 small changes to help avoid this happening in the future. We’ve been up and running ever since (knock on wood).
5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Comfortable Year Round
Even if you can’t seem them, there are small gaps in every home that allow interior air to escape outside and make your HVAC system work harder. They are usually around the edges of windows and doors and sometimes at the foundation and rooflines. Using caulking and weatherstripping to seal the gaps helps the heated or cooled air stay inside your home and prevents the external weather from coming inside.
2. Help Your Heater
During the winter, it can be tempting to crank up the heat, but this can really drive up your energy bills and put strain on your furnace. Instead, try setting the thermostat a few degrees lower and use socks, sweaters and blankets to keep your family warm. If your area allows wood-burning, gas or electric stoves, it can help to spread the heating burden to multiple appliances. Space heaters can keep bedrooms warm as well.
3. Use Window Coverings
Windows are a large source of heat movement. In the summer, sunlight pours through and warms your home, and in the winter, heated air escapes outside through the glass and frame. Installing window coverings can counteract those issues, and help lessen the requirements on your HVAC system. Blackout or reflective curtains are quite effective, as are blinds and shutters. Honeycomb shades also work well at increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
4. Stay Cool
Your AC works hard during the summer to keep your home cool. You can help by using additional methods to circulate air such as overhead or portable fans. If your area cools off significantly at night, you can open the windows to let in the cool air. Changing bedding to light materials can help keep you comfortable at night without requiring the AC to run constantly.
5. Schedule a Tune Up
One of the best things you can do for your home is to schedule a tune up of your HVAC system. We did this, and have been impressed with our 20-year old unit’s performance ever since. An HVAC professional will assess your furnace or AC unit to find any areas of inefficiency or potential issues. If you live near the Pittsburgh, PA area, the Calfo Technicians are HVAC experts able to optimize your system and ensure any minor repairs are completed before the issues become serious. A tune up service helps your system run more efficiently and can even improve longevity. It’s best to schedule a furnace tune up at the end of summer (NOW!) and an AC tune up in early spring.
You trust your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable inside. Making simple changes to your house can also help keep the temperature optimal without putting strain on your furnace or air conditioner. Scheduling a tune up for your system can ensure efficient operation and prevent a break down during heavy operation. The best time to schedule a tune up is before constant operation: spring for the AC and early fall for the furnace. Using alternative heating and cooling sources can also complement your HVAC system.
I’m curious. does anyone else use any of these tips? Or have any more to add? I’d love to hear!
PS. And if you’re looking for even more tips this infographic is an amazing visual. There are some more great tips in here!