Whether your area faces a cold snap or a stretch of cool weather, you need to prepare your home for the temperature swing.
That means focusing on two very important areas: your heating system and the fireplace.
Heater Maintenance Before a Cold Snap
If it’s been over a year since a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician serviced your furnace or heat pump, now is the time to do it.
HVAC professionals will clean, inspect and calibrate your heating and cooling system to make sure it works efficiently and safely. That way, you’re not stuck with a faulty heater during a cold snap or winter weather.
Of course, before they arrive, there are a couple of important things you can do.
One of them is changing your heating and cooling system’s filter, and getting in the habit of doing so on a regular basis. You don’t want to enter a cold snap with a clogged filter that strains the system and could even cause it to fail.
Not all HVAC filters are equal. For instance, you need to change an electrostatic filter about every three months; it lasts longer than a bargain filter from the grocery store, and will capture more allergens.
While you’re replacing the filter, go ahead and vacuum the surrounding area and wipe down everything. This prevents dust and debris from entering your system.
Another thing you can do just before that next cold snap is check your HVAC’s ductwork for leaks. Whether the ductwork is in your attic or under your house, spotting problems is easy.
Turn the system on, look for gaps or cracks, and run your fingers along the ductwork as you check for escaping air.
Finally, even with a heating system running at optimal efficiency, you can save so much money for every degree of temperature that you lower the thermostat.
So, the next time there’s a cold snap, throw on some extra layers of clothing, or curl up in a quilt when you’re watching a movie. It’s cozy and saves you money!
Tips for Practicing Fire Safety
If you supplement a furnace or heat pump with warmth from a wood-burning or gas fireplace, don’t forget that it needs maintenance, too.
A licensed chimney sweep should clean and inspect your fireplace, whether it’s a wood-burning or gas unit.
If you’re using a wood-burning fireplace, only use firewood that’s been seasoned and dried for six to eight months. This will provide the best performance so you stay warm during the next cold snap. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.
Finally, make sure your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are working and ready. The newest devices have lithium batteries that last 10 years, which makes maintenance easier than ever.
Watch the video above for Danny’s cold weather tips, featuring Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams on The Weather Channel.