5 Winter Weather Prep Tips for Your Connecticut Home

For many people, winter represents a time for holiday traditions and exciting plans for the new year. In the New England region, it can also mean brutal temperatures and enduring months of snow. For Connecticut area homeowners, what can you do to prepare your home now for winter weather? Use the five tips to keep your home running safely and efficiently over the cold months ahead.

  • Look for Leaks: Sometimes small deficiencies can make a large impact on your home in the winter. Consider working with your HVAC company to identify any air leaks and determine a plan of action to seal the gaps prior to the peak of winter. Leaks are often present around chimneys, ceilings, cupboards and closets, so review if caulk or other solutions can help insulate your home. 
  • Home Heating: To ensure it’s prepared for the onset of harsh winter temperatures, now is the time to schedule maintenance services for your home heating system through your residential HVAC partner. Remember to change out any necessary filters throughout the season to keep your systems running properly. Finally, when you’re home, aim to set your thermostat to the lowest setting that’s still comfortable so you can save on energy costs.
  • Focus on the fireplace: While it can keep you warm, the fireplace is also a significant source of heat loss as warm air can escape through the chimney. Be sure to inspect the flue damper and make sure it's secure. Never use your fireplace? Make your home stays energy efficient by plugging and sealing the chimney flue.
  • What about Windows? Though they help you view the winter wonderland outside, windows are a known culprit for letting out precious heat in the winter. Many homeowners apply clear plastic film inside windows as an added layer to secure windows against cold weather. Additionally, insulated curtains or shades can help lessen the draft for less secure windows.
  • Protect Pipes: Before winter hits, review the location of both the main water shut off valve for your house, as well as the water heater, in the event these facilities need to be turned off.  As many homeowners know, allowing a slow drip of water through crucial pipes can help prevent freezing. Finally, applying industry-approved foam to your water pipes can keep them operating through low temps. 

 

Interested in more ways to keep your home energy efficient and safe this winter? Contact us today for more information or to schedule your next residential AC maintenance service.

Ahhhh SUMMER!

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1. Clean Your Filters: Make sure to clean or replace all air filters in your A/C system once a month or as recommended. Clean air filters can reduce your energy usage by as much as 5-15%.

2. Keep it Moving: Running fans in the home, especially on the second floor, can help to keep the air circulating in the home. Perhaps more importantly, it can also improve the comfort level by helping to evaporate any sweat from your skin. The moving air should allow you to raise the temperature on your thermostat to save you energy.

3. Slow it Down: Newer high-efficiency equipment has the ability to operate its fan at different speeds. The fan in your air conditioning unit should be set to run as slow as possible. This will allow the most moisture to be removed from the air and therefore significantly improve the comfort level.

4. Spring Cleaning: Ensure that there are no plants or other objects that could block or reduce the air flow to any outdoor units.

5. Time for a Tune-Up: Making sure all preventative maintenance is performed on your A/C system will ensure that it is performing at maximum efficiency and minimum cost.

6. Create some shade: The largest heat source for any house comes from the sun shining through windows and heating up the inside of a house. Planting trees such that they block direct sunlight through windows, especially during the midday hours, can help reduce the amount of unnecessary heat entering the house and provide a nice view.

7. Keep the Bugs and UV Rays Out: Installing solar screens on windows can help by intercepting a significant amount of solar energy that would have entered through that window. It also makes for a good barrier against any unwanted guests if the windows are opened.

8. Get Low: Due to the natural heat dissipation through the ground, places like a basement hangout space will tend to be much cooler than higher floors in a house. By spending more time in those spaces during the day, you can stay comfortable without needing to keep your thermostat setting as low.

9. When the Cat’s Away: Use a programable thermostat that will allow you to set your home thermostat to automatically raise its temperature setting for times when you are typically away from the home, on vacation, or at night when the house will tend to naturally be cooler.

10. Do it at Night: Doing things like running the dishwasher, cooking, or doing the laundry can introduce a significant heat load into the house. By waiting to do these activities until the evening, you can take advantage of the natural cooling of your house after the sun goes down.