If you live in an area that has cold temperatures during winter, you’ve likely already experienced the brutal chill that comes with this season. And there are still more temperature dips, snowy days, and ice storms ahead before spring gets here! You may be looking for easy and inexpensive tips for keeping your family warm and cozy on the coldest days of the year.
We can help! We’ve compiled a list of seven simple tips and tricks to help keep your loved ones comfortable during the miserably cold weather this season.
Tip #1: Change your air filter regularly!
This is likely the most important thing you can do to make sure your home stays nice and toasty. The air filter is part of your heating system and is responsible for trapping and keeping airborne materials — like pet hair and dust — from circulating through your ductwork and into the air your family breathes. When you fail to change the filter on a routine basis, your furnace has to work harder to push warm air through the clogged and dirty filter material.
This can cause extra strain on your furnace and lead to premature wear and tear, or possibly even a total breakdown. Additionally, a filter that isn’t clean isn’t going to allow the warm air from your furnace to make it into the ducts and out through the vents in each room of your home as efficiently. This means that you will likely have rooms or levels that feel colder than they should.
Not sure how often to change your filter? The general rule is to replace it each month during the peak of the heating season, but you may need to change it more often if you have individuals in your home who smoke, or if you have pets, as these things could cause the filter to get clogged more quickly than usual.
Tip #2: Schedule annual heating maintenance!
You should schedule a yearly tune-up for your furnace. A trained and experienced technician will be able to thoroughly clean and inspect your heating system and be sure it’s operating safely and efficiently. During a maintenance tune-up, many potential problems can be detected and taken care of early — before they lead to a breakdown of the system and leave your family in the cold while you wait for a repair professional to come diagnose and fix the issue.
Tip #3: Check your vents.
Covered or blocked vents won’t allow warm air from your furnace to get into all spaces of your home. Now is a great time to be sure that furniture, rugs, curtains, etc. aren’t blocking the vents and restricting air flow.
Also, some vents can manually be opened/closed. If a room feels much colder than it should, check to be sure that the vent is in the “open” position to allow conditioned air from your heating system to circulate throughout the room.
Tip #4: Create a warm sleeping environment.
If you haven’t already done so this season, now is a great time to be sure your bed is “winter-ready.” This means that if you have flannel sheets, a thicker comforter, or fluffy blankets, it’s time to put them on your bed! These layers will help to keep you warm on those brutally cold winter nights — without you needing to crank your thermostat up a few more degrees.
Tip #5: Try new recipes.
It’s usually not recommended to fire up your cooktop and oven and try out new recipes during the spring and summer months when you want to keep your home cool. But during the winter, a few extra degrees could help to keep your family comfy and cozy — and could help your furnace to run less.
Pull out the cookbook and give that cookie or pie recipe a try. You’ll have a treat and a warmer home!
Tip #6: Check your ceiling fan’s blades.
Did you know that during the winter months, your ceiling fan’s blades should be spinning clockwise when you look up at them? This will help circulate warm air, keeping your family toasty and comfortable.
Tip #7: Using space heaters?
If you need a little extra kick of warmth on colder days and decide to use a space heater, be careful! Only use the device when you are in the same room. If you leave the room, shut the heater off. If you are using it in a bedroom, be sure it’s turned off before falling asleep.
Space heaters can provide extra warmth, but they can be dangerous if not used properly and according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (which will be included in the packaging when you purchase the unit). Be sure to follow these guidelines to keep your family safe.
Spring will be here soon, right?
While it may seem like winter is going to drag on forever, spring will be here before you know it! Stay tuned to our blog for tips and tricks for staying cool on the hottest days of the year — because they are coming!