Winter is a good time to upgrade your Berlin, Maryland, home. Make your home safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient by taking protective measures against harsh weather conditions. Consider taking up essential tasks, like prepping your heating system, protecting your home from snow, fixing air leaks, checking insulation, upgrading your water heater, installing a programmable thermostat, reversing the direction of ceiling fans, and taking measures against fire hazards.
Prep Your Heating System
Before the temperatures begin to drop, get your heating system ready to tackle the harsh winter. Change the air filters regularly, and keep all the pipes, ductwork, vents, and coils clean. If any of the parts need to be replaced, get it done now. Call an HVAC professional for an annual or biannual tune-up. This will ensure that your system continues to work at optimal efficiency, with the least chance of breaking down in the chilly winter.
Protect Your Home From Snow and Ice
Winter brings ice, snow, and storms. Water in the pipes often freeze, which can cause them to burst. Thus, you should insulate your home’s pipes. Also, keep the garden hose disconnected from the faucet so that the lower temperatures from outside do not freeze the water inside the pipes.
If icicles and ice dams form on your home, you may need to install additional insulation, venting, and heat cables. Ice build-up can also damage the outdoor unit of your system, so cover it with a piece of plywood. Avoid using a waterproof cover, which can create a warm space for insects and critters.
Fix All the Air Leaks
Air leaks pass on treated air to the outside environment and let in cold air. This makes your system work harder and shoots up the heating cost. Check for air leaks from doors and windows, and fix them using caulking and weatherstripping.
p>Lack of insulation is another reason for improper heating and higher energy costs. Inspect the attic for damaged or missing insulation. If you have a flat roof, remove leaves and debris that can hold moisture. Wherever required, add insulation to the walls and crawlspaces as well.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
Your water heater is the last thing you’d want to have to repair during the winter. Check whether it’s functioning properly. Consider upgrading to a tankless water heater, which is more efficient than traditional heaters. Instead of storing water, it heats the water passing through it. Installation is easy since it doesn’t require any ventilation or other additional work.
Take a look at your hot water tank. If you notice any dirt or sediment, flush it clean before using. It’s a good idea to cover the tank with an insulating blanket to prevent heat loss.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats do away with the need to manually adjust your home temperatures. Set your preferred temperatures for different times of the day, and you are done. They allow you to set lower temperatures for times when you are asleep or not at home, which means less work for your heating system and lower energy bills.
Reverse the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans usually have a switch to reverse the direction. Modern fans allow this to be done using a remote control. Set your fans to rotate clockwise, and run them at slow speed in winter. This will bring down the warmer air near the ceiling and make you feel more comfortable.
Take Measures Against Fire Hazards
Winter months are prone to fire accidents. Make sure all carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Check the batteries in smoke alarms at least once a month, and replace them wherever required. Consider upgrading to an interconnected wireless system that will set off all alarms as soon as any of the units detect any signs of a fire. Lastly, you can make your fireplace safer by adding glass doors to it.
At Custom Mechanical, we offer heating, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and sheet metal services for more than three decades. Our certified technicians can help you with most of your home improvement tasks. Call us anytime at 877-696-0808.
Image provided by Shutterstock