What is your favorite part of the holiday season?
‘Tis the season for winter coats, holiday cheer and, hopefully, reasonable gas bills. Maytag HVAC wishes you a happy holiday season. With these well wishes in mind, here are some tips that can keep you warm and healthy this holiday season (and may even leave you with a little more cash for holiday festivities).
- Change your furnace filter.
- Invest/gift yourself a high efficiency HVAC system. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
- Keep vents unobstructed – no tree skirts blocking registers please.
- Invest in weather stripping or caulk to block air leaks around windows and doors. Don’t let a cold draft ruin your holiday party.
- Speaking of parties… Turn the thermostat down if you are having a group of people over. More bodies = more heat!
What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
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Are you already sick of the cold weather?
The official first day of winter is the 21st of December. Chances are, the worst is yet to come weather-wise. Winter brings about parties with friends and family, holiday lights and assorted decor, but it also brings about cold drafts and slippery, snowy roads (unless you are fortunate enough to live in a place with mild weather). You want to make sure that your furnace is ready to tackle that cold weather when it rolls around.
Here are some winter home upkeep tips that can assure a comfortable, healthy holiday season.
- Keep your outdoor furnace vent free from snow and winter debris to make sure your furnace is properly venting out the byproducts of combustion.
- Turn off your holiday lights during the day and before you retire for the evening.
- Change your furnace filter to make sure your indoor air quality is high and it’s not blocking airflow.
- Talk to your local heating and air conditioning contractor about entering a maintenance agreement so you never forget your preventative maintenance appointment during the fall.
- Check for air leaks. If you find any, seal them up with caulk or weather stripping to achieve maximum comfort and efficiency.
- Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature. The Department of Energy recommends a setting of 68F during the winter.
Want to squeeze in a last-minute maintenance appointment? Get in touch with your local heating and air conditioning contractor.
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It’s beginning to look a lot like…
WINTER! That frightful winter weather has crept into many areas of the country already. While some homeowners are blessed with mild winters, others need to prepare for subzero temperatures and snow.
We’re not talking about temperatures in the 40s…we’re talking about temperatures that hurt your face as soon as you step outside. Here are some things you should have on your mind before, during and after an extreme cold front roll in…
- Be prepared for chillier indoor temperatures. There is only so much your furnace is going to be able to do to keep your home warm. There will come a point when even the best furnace is going to struggle to keep up with demand. Break out the sweaters and blankets, and drink a cup of hot cocoa.
- Don’t crank the heat. As mentioned above, it may feel like your home just can’t get warm enough. Resist the temptation to blast the heat. All you’ll achieve is a higher utility bill.
- Don’t be afraid to turn the thermostat down a degree or two. If your furnace is constantly running trying to reach the temperature you have your thermostat set to, consider a lower temperature setting. This way, your gas furnace will turn off sooner – saving money on utility bills and reducing wear and tear on your unit.
- Consider weather stripping around your windows and doors. Drafts during extremely cold weather may also be making your home feel like the inside of an igloo. You can pick up weather stripping at your local hardware store to help combat these drafts.
- Make sure your outside vents are clear. Do you know where your gas furnace vents the byproducts of combustion? Make sure your vent is clear from snow and winter debris to make sure those byproducts are exiting your home correctly.
- Registers and vents indoors should also be clear. Make sure furniture and rugs are not blocking your indoor vents either. You also want to make sure they were not accidentally closed. Blocked vents and registers can result in cold rooms and system damage.
- If you’re going out of town, have a neighbor check your home. During extremely cold weather, there could be too much strain placed on your gas furnace. This may cause a malfunction. If you aren’t home, the lack of warm air circulating through your home could result in frozen pipes and a number of other health and safety issues. Have a neighbor pop into your house each day to make sure everything is running smoothly.
- If you’re using a space heater, make sure you practice proper safety. During extreme cold, you may feel like you need supplemental heat. Temporarily using a space heater isn’t necessarily a bad thing (although it can result in a higher electric bill), but you must make sure that it is properly attended and that it is nowhere near flammable materials.
Feel like your furnace isn’t ready to tackle extreme cold? Get in touch with a local heating and air specialist.
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How do you plan on heating your home this winter?
Are you prepared for winter? Having a proper method for heating your home is critical during the colder months. It’s important for comfort and for making sure things like your pipes don’t freeze and burst.
Whole-home heating systems, like furnaces and heat pumps, are the best way to assure that your home is going to be set at the right, most comfortable temperature. However, there may be times when your central heating system is not available. Here are some alternative heating methods you can use for a short time while you are waiting for your heating equipment to be ready to use.
This is probably the most common alternative heating method. These smaller pieces of equipment can be powered by a variety of different fuel sources, such as: electricity, gas, propane, oil or wood. If you’ve decided to use a space heater, make sure you employ proper safety techniques. While they can provide a significant amount of heat, there are some drawbacks.
- Make sure they are monitored at all times.
- Keep them away from flammable substances like paper or fabric.
- Don’t run them too long. They can overheat and (if they are electric) raise your electric bill.
There’s nothing better than cozying up close to a lit fireplace during the winter. They can heat a room and create a festive environment. However, there are some things you should keep in mind so that you stay safe and comfortable while using one.
- Use an appropriate screen to catch embers and debris.
- Make sure to OPEN your damper when it is in use.
- Make sure to CLOSE your damper when it is NOT in use. A fireplace can act like a giant vacuum when the damper is open – all of your warm air is lost up the chimney.
- Keep flammable materials far enough away from your fireplace (e.g. paper, rugs, furniture, etc).
DO NOT use your oven.
We do not recommend using an oven or stove to heat your home, although this has been cited as an alternative heating method. This is incredibly dangerous and can, if natural gas or electric, raise your bills.
Remember, the best, most-efficient way to heat your home is by using a central heating system. If you are having issues with your gas furnace or need to replace your old one, make sure you get in touch with your local heating and air conditioning contractor.
Are you upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace this winter?