We all know Indiana winters are unpredictable, but it can be pretty difficult to stay warm when temperatures drop unexpectedly. If you find yourself cranking up the heat, consider some of our budget-friendly solutions. These tricks will help keep your home warm during any cold spell.
1. Replace your dirty air filters.
A dirty air filter may not cause you any problems when the weather is mild, but it’s definitely something to check in winter. If we’ve got cold or freezing temperatures outside, your filter could very well be your biggest roadblock to a toasty home. Before you blame your furnace for the lack of heat, be sure to take a quick look at your filters.
Dirty filters restrict air flow and make it harder for your furnace to keep up without using loads of energy; and if your filters are old and dirty, there’s a good chance your furnace won’t be able to raise your temperature at all. Changing your filters regularly, and making sure to check them in the colder months is definitely a smart way to help your furnace run efficiently.
2. Check your attic insulation.
Proper insulation saves energy and makes your home resistant to heat loss by creating a barrier between your warm home and the cold outdoors. One easy way to see if your home is losing heat is to compare the amount of snow left on your roof to your neighbor’s. If your snow is melting fast, you’ve probably got poor insulation. Even if your furnace is working fine and your thermostat is set to high heat, you might still feel cold because all the heat is escaping to uninsulated areas. Warm air rises and escapes to your attic space if it’s not insulated—meaning your furnace is heating your roof instead of the rest of your home!
Check your attic space in winter to make sure you’re not losing heat to poor insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy has a few tips for insulation, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure your attic’s insulation is at least 12 inches thick. One of the most effective ways to insulate your home is to make sure your attic access door is insulated—plus it’s a really cost-effective fix!
3. Keep your thermostat at one temperature.
This low-tech solution is kind of counterintuitive, but it’s our best advice for battling freezing or below-freezing temperatures outside. In milder months, a lot of homeowners like to lower their thermostat temperature at night to save on energy. When we’ve got really cold, or even record breaking cold weather though, it’s hard for your furnace to make up even a 5 degree difference from nighttime to daytime.
Rather than get stuck with a cooler temp in the day, we suggest leaving your thermostat on a set temperature in winter that’s comfortable for both day and night. If you have a programmable thermostat, try using the “hold” function for your ideal temp. This is a great feature that helps your home stay warm 24/7 without any temperature fluctuations or thermostat checks. A programmable thermostat even helps you control energy costs, and can cut your heating costs by 35%.
If your home is still extra-chilly in the winter months, you can always call on your local HVAC company to help you solve the problem. A specialist can help you review your home’s current setup and make sure all your heating components are working at their best levels.
And if for some reason your furnace actually quits on you in winter, please call your local HVAC specialist right away! It doesn’t take long for your home’s temperature to drop drastically low if your furnace stops working, so be sure to put in a call ASAP. There might be a lot of other homes without heat too, so you’ll want to get on the technician’s list early so your home can go back to being cozy and warm.