Prepare Your Home for Winter with Money Saving Tips

Oct 15, 2019 | Furnace, Hilliard-Dublin, HVAC Maintenance, Winter

Are You Ready for Winter?

Of all the things experts say homeowners should do to prepare their homes for winter, there is one common theme at the top of every list. That theme, to no surprise, has to do with their home’s furnaces. Ohio’s frigid cold can be deadly at times, and homeowners spend a small fortune during the winter keeping their homes warm and families safe. We at Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air Company compiled a list with money-saving tips that won’t break your budget:


Replace Furnace Filters Every Month

One thing that reduces furnace productivity and increases heating bills is an old air filter. A dirty filter can lower the life expectancy of your furnace and create health problems. We advise homeowners to replace their filters at least every month during the winter. Finding your filter is easy. Once you locate it, hold it up to the light. If you can’t see through it clearly, it’s time for a replacement.


Service Furnace Regularly

Now is the time to have your furnace serviced. Having your furnace routinely serviced can catch more costly problems down the road and optimize its life. It keeps it running smoothly and efficiently for years to come. Experts say furnaces purchased within the last couple of years, still relatively new, can get by with being serviced every two years. Older units, however, need to be checked by a technician every year.


Get a Programmable Thermostat

Experts say a programmable thermostat can pay for themselves by saving homeowners up to a couple hundred a year in fuel costs. Programmable thermostats will automatically adjust your home’s temperature when you aren’t there. It also maintains temperatures, saving fuel. 


Close Off Furnace Ducts

Heating ducts can lose up to a third of the warm and valuable air they carry to leaks and poor conduction. Leaking heating ducts make utility bills significantly higher in addition to making it harder to keep your home warm. You won’t be able to reach all the ducts. Some are behind walls, concealed above ceilings, and underneath floors. Even so, you can enhance performance by closing up exposed ducts in the attic, the crawl space, or the unfinished basement and garage. Concentrate on the areas where ducts, vents, and registers come out on the floors, walls, and ceilings. Use mastic sealant or metal tape, which are more resilient than mere duct tape, to seal the seams and connections.


Seal Other Air Leaks

Find and seal air leaks that could be leaking up to a third of your home’s valuable, warm, air. Attic insulation can be pulled back to locate and seal off openings in the drywall for electric fixtures, fans, outlets, and even pipes.  Also, check your chimneys, flues, wiring, vent stacks and ducts, and seal them on the interior. Use caulk to fill smaller leaks and enlarging foam for larger holes.


Use Weather-stripping

Did you know you can find leaks in exterior doors with a candle? From your home’s interior, light a candle and move the lit candle around the door’s frame. If there is a draft, the candle will blow towards you. Be sure to turn off fans and any blowing air when you do this for accuracy. You can seal a drafty door by investing in foam or felt weather-stripping inside the door frame. 


Also, Use a Door Sweep

A door sweep will also prevent air leaks from entering your house beneath an exterior door. A sweep is a versatile piece of rubber or plastic that’s held to the door’s lower edge by a strip of aluminum.


If You have a Fireplace, Close the Damper

It doesn’t take a scientist. Warm air rises, and if you have a fireplace damper open, your hard-earned money goes right out with it. If you have a fireplace, try to make it a habit to shut the flue after it has cooled.


Get More Insulation

Insulation prevents that warm air from going out in the winter, and it keeps that costly chilled air inside during the warmer months. Adding insulation where it’s thin, or where there’s a slight draft, even in your attic, can prove to be a wise investment.


Leave that Thermostat Alone

You can appreciate fuel savings at no cost merely by setting your thermostat to one temperature in the morning, a different temperature during the night, and otherwise leaving it alone for the rest of the day. If you get cold, throw on a warm shirt and some socks instead of spending money to raise the heat. 


Caulk and Plug Miscellaneous Air Leaks

Grab a tube of caulk, a can of spray foam sealer, and inspect your house, interior, and exterior, especially the basement and attic. If you come across cracks and holes in the siding, the windows, and the foundation, seal them, and if you can’t seal them, get a photo as a reminder to tackle it later.

Use caulk for small cracks and the foam sealer for more significant gaps. Inside the home, employ the candle method mentioned above. Give special consideration for skylights, chimneys, vents, doorframes, and any other penetration of the home such as appliance vents, plumbing fixtures, and electrical fixtures. In your basement, have a look at the wood, where it meets the concrete foundation. Is it leaking warm air?


Cover Your Windows

Curtains, shades, drapes, and blinds can provide a remarkable amount of insulation. Utilize them mostly at night and when you are away to preserve heat in the home. In warmer weather, draw window coverings in the morning to keep the house cool during the day, saving money on air conditioning.


Insulate Piping

Insulate the hot water pipes beneath your home by installing foam sleeves. Most hardware stores carry slit, hollow, flexible foam pipe insulation. Find the diameter of your pipes and measure their lengths before you go to purchase them. Pipes without insulation give off heat when water runs through them. Don’t forget the piping between the tank and the wall. 


Additional Things to Prepare for Winter

Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood.

Seal your masonry and hard surfaces.

Clean your gutters.

Check your drainage.

Clean your chimney and order firewood, if you burn.

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Shut down the pool and the sprinkler system and drain outside faucets.

Prepare for snow removal

Cover your patio furniture

Prep your expensive lawn and yard care equipment

Do a quick energy audit

Make sure your attic doesn’t become a critter hotel


For help preparing your home for winter, or schedule a tune-up call Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air today at 614-490-7520, or schedule an appointment now at