Electrical, Heating & Cooling Services in Lake County & Beyond

Prepare Your Home for Autumn Energy Savings

As the cooler weather of autumn starts to arrive, it's a perfect time to prepare your home. As the temperature drops your energy use will go up because you are using the heating system and because everyone is inside a lot more. Here are nine things you can do to get your home ready for autumn energy savings.

  1. Get your heating system checked up
  2. Seal air leaks
  3. Install a programmable thermostat
  4. Reset the ceiling fans for cold weather
  5. Invest in insulated drapes
  6. Change your furnace filters
  7. Add extra insulation
  8. Inspect and clean the air vents and intake
  9. Inspect and repair your ductwork

1. Get Your Heating System Checked Up

Your heating system works hard every winter to keep your home comfortable and warm. Over time, the mechanical parts of the system can wear down, become dirty, and work less efficiently. An annual check-up visit from an HVAC professional will help keep your system working smoothly.

During the check-up, the technician will inspect the system and clean where appropriate. The technician will lubricate moving parts and ensure they work as intended. The thermostat gets tested to ensure it's working properly. In a gas unit, the burner will get cleaned and calibrated for optimal burn.

2. Seal Air Leaks

If cold air is leaking in around windows and doors, your heating system will need to work harder to keep your home warm. This will drive up your energy costs and put excessive wear on the furnace. Sealing air leaks isn't difficult, but can save you a ton of money in the long run.

An easy way to check for air leaks is with a lit candle. Slowly move the candle around the edges of your windows and doors. If there's an air leak, the flame will noticeably flicker or go out entirely. Fill any leaks with caulk or spray foam. Replace or add weatherstripping around the door or window.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If your thermostat is a manual type, you are likely spending more than you should for heating. With a manual thermostat, you have to change the temperature when you leave the house or come home. Otherwise, it runs at the same temp day and night.

With a programmable thermostat, the temp adjustments happen automatically. When you aren't home, the temperature goes down a few degrees, then back up shortly before you get home. Such a thermostat can make a big difference in how much energy you use. Even better, upgrade to a smart thermostat, which will adjust for maximum energy savings based on your schedule.

4. Reset the Ceiling Fans for Cold Weather

Most modern ceiling fans have a switch that can reverse the fan's movement. In the summer, you want it drawing cool air up and distributing it around the room. The fan should be going counterclockwise when looking up at it from beneath.

In winter, the reverse is true. You want to pull hot air down from the ceiling. There should be a switch on the side. Move it from up to down. When you turn the fan on, it should be going in a clockwise direction when looking at it from below.

5. Invest in Insulated Drapes

Window glass is a major conductor of cold into the house. The glass gets cold and this causes the air close to it to chill down. To prevent this from affecting the inside temperature, you should install insulated drapes. The insulation keeps the chilled air from coming into the rest of the room.

The good news is that insulated drapes also help to keep hot air from getting inside during the summer.

6. Change Your Furnace Filters

Your furnace needs a clean flow of air to do its job efficiently. The air filter helps get rid of dust and debris which can clog the inside of the unit. However, this dust and debris can build up on the filter and interfere with the free flow of air.

That's why it's important to check the air filters every month and change them out when they get dirty.

7. Add Extra Insulation

Does your attic have enough insulation? If your attic has four or fewer inches of insulation, you need to add more. For maximum comfort, the Department of Energy recommends attic spaces in this part of Indiana to have an insulation value of R-38 or higher.

If you already have insulation in the attic, getting additional insulation blown in is the most convenient option. Just make sure it stays fluffy and undisturbed for maximum insulation value.

8. Inspect and Clean the Air Vents and Intake

Check all the air vents and intakes. Make sure they are not blocked by anything, including furniture, toys, or boxes. Use a vacuum brush tool to remove dust and debris. This helps keep air flowing freely and minimizes dust distribution.

9. Inspect and Repair Your Ductwork

If your ducts are over 10 years old, they could be leaking through corner tears or disconnected joints. Inspect the ducts for loose seams or joints. Repair these disconnects as needed. If the ducts are in bad shape, you should have a professional assess their condition. It may be time for a full or partial replacement.

These tips will help keep your energy bills down this coming fall. If your heating system needs a tune-up or repair, contact All Services at (219) 233-2066 or online. We proudly serve our neighbors in Crown Point and all surrounding areas.