Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How to Prepare for Heating Your Home This Winter

Fall has just begun, and winter is coming (Game of Thrones anyone?). You probably don’t have to worry about White Walkers, but winter can still be a harrowing experience if your home isn’t properly heated—no one likes wearing mittens indoors. Paris Farmers Union has endured 97 frigid New England winters thus far, so we understand better than anyone the importance of prepping for the season in advance.

We’ve compiled a few tips to aid you in the preparation process. It’s a hassle to be proactive, but you’ll thank us when a cold front inevitably rolls in. By following along with this abridged heating-your-home handbook, you’ll avoid being mistaken for the friendly neighborhood snowman.

Insulate Drafty Ducts & Windows

Precious heat can easily leak from an uninsulated duct or window and raise your bill as a result. Dealing with a drafty window is a relatively quick fix—seal the frame with caulk and apply an adhesive weather strip. These two improvements should be sufficient, but you can also install a second sash lock to keep any excess air from seeping through the bottom of the pane.

Leaky ducts are a little trickier to tackle—major repairs should be performed by an experienced professional. Ducts are responsible for the even distribution of air throughout your home, so their repair is worth investing in. If you’re determined to patch up a small problem on your own, try taping your duct joints with foil and fiberglass wrap.  

Install a New Thermostat

It’s important that your home stays warm while you’re inside, but it’s just as vital that the temperature adjusts in your absence. Unless you’re hoping to have the highest heating bill on the block, we suggest that you invest in a reliable programmable home thermostat. While already included in many homes, a digital thermostat’s benefits can’t be overstated—it optimizes your home’s heating by adhering to a consistent schedule. To cut costs and increase efficiency, make sure your thermostat is set to 68 degrees while you’re at home during the day. You don’t need a handyman to install a thermostat; simply follow along with this instructional video and tutorial.

Keep Warm by a Crackling Fire

In addition to being an eye-pleasing centerpiece and an entrance for Santa, a gas fireplace can be a lifesaver in the cold winter months. We suggest selecting a vent-free model. These fireplaces burn ventless gas logs and provide greater heat output, use less gas and produce less pollution. Unvented fireplaces are sometimes the only possibility for two-story homes because of installation complications, and they typically come with a much cheaper price tag than comparable vented models. While generally vent-free gas fireplaces are clean burning, in very small homes you may experience light indoor pollution from their use.

If you aren’t drawn by the charm of sitting around open flames during the holidays, you can opt for an electric fireplace. In addition to being a cheaper solution, an electric fireplace produces no fumes, is extremely efficient and is simple to install. Unlike wood-burning fireplaces, maintenance is minimal—you don’t have to worry about logs or cleaning a sooty chimney. 

Invest in a Few Space Heaters

You can quickly heat up a room of almost any size through the installation of a supplemental home heater. These heaters are great for their portability—you can easily move them from one room to another as the need arises. A downside of using space heaters indoors is their flammability, so it’s important that the surrounding area is clear of clutter and that they’re turned off at night. We recommend getting an electric space heater as they’re safer and cleaner-burning than gas solutions.

Patios are a great place to host and entertain guests during the summer months, but they often go unused during the winter. Cold weather shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your backyard during the holidays—consider investing in an outdoor patio heater. These heaters are affordable, portable and safe to use as there’s no open flame.

Preparing for winter can be a daunting task, but we hope these tips will help you defrost in even the fiercest snowstorms. Be sure to check out our heating & cooling page for all the tools you need to keep warm this holiday season!   

1 comment:
  1. Thank you for this tutorial. you've made it seem so simple. Looks fantastic!

    Best regards!