Winter is Coming: Here Is Your Home Comfort Checklist
The leaves have changed, the frost warnings are beginning, and winter is right around the corner. But is your home ready for the change? Caring for your home as the seasons change will pay off in many ways — like keeping your home more comfortable (less complaining from the thermostat hounds in the family), reducing the amount of energy your home needs (save you in electricity and/or oil costs), and even improve the quality of your indoor air (healthier air through the winter). Here is a winter checklist to keep your home in tip-top shape as it battles the harsh winters of the Finger Lakes.
1. Change Your Air Filters
Why: Air filters will become clogged with dust, pollen, and other pollutants as they filter all of the air coming through your heating and cooling system. This is particularly true after seasons that record more contamination events, like wildfires. Keeping fresh air filters in your home will improve the health of the air you breathe as you spend more time inside, and will ensure your heating system maintains its efficiency and effectiveness.
How Often: Ideally, check all of your air filters every month and exchange them with new filters at least every 3 months. If there are lots of pets or allergy sufferers in your home, you may need more frequent changes, or filters with higher HEPA ratings.
2. Visually Inspect Your Heating System
Why: It is a good idea to do a walkthrough of your heating system to prevent any potential hazards that can lead to further damage during the cold months. Check for things like new rust, fraying wires, leaks of any kind, or anything that looks suspicious. If you see something, say something to the heating pros at Halco and schedule heating service.
How Often: Do a thorough inspection in the fall, before the onset of winter. Then check again after you have been running your heating system for a couple of weeks.
3. Do a Test of Your Heating System
Why: You don’t want to discover a malfunctioning heater on the first night you actually need it! Testing to make sure it turns on correctly ensures that your system is working effectively and efficiently from the offset of winter.
How To: Turn the thermostat to heat mode and set it for a couple of degrees above the current room temperature. You should hear the system turn on and begin blowing warm air or heating your radiators within a few minutes. If you hear any concerning noises, or you do not feel any warmth coming from the system, call Halco.
4. Check In On Your Insulation
Why: The insulation in your attic and basement ensures that the warmth generated by your heating system isn't escaping through the top and bottom of your house. A well-insulated home will spend less on heating costs and feel much cozier throughout the winter - and as a bonus will be cooler in the summer as well!
How To: Inspect your attic and basement or crawl space for any gaps in insulation, areas where your insulation is wet, or where pests have infiltrated your insulation. If you are unsure of how to locate your insulation, or how to assess it, call Halco — we do insulation, too!
Schedule Heating Maintenance Before Winter
If you have any concerns about the efficiency or effectiveness of your heating system, Halco works on all makes and models and can help you get your home on the path to comfort, without wasting energy and money each month. And if your current heating system is nearing the end of its life span, we can recommend an efficient replacement like heat pumps or ductless mini splits.
Home Comfort and Energy: Halco Does It All
There are many facets that combine to make your home comfortable and energy-efficient all year long. Fortunately for homeowners like you in the Finger Lakes area, you don’t have to entrust each of those facets to different contractors — Halco does it all!
From ensuring your home can get warm through heating maintenance and installation, to keeping that heat in through better insulation and air sealing services, and even helping you utilize renewable energy like geothermal and solar, Halco Home Services does it all.