Keeping your family warm all winter long means ensuring your home is ready for the cold. Old leaky windows, leaking air ducts and dirty furnace filters can cause your home to feel more like an icebox than a cozy abode. We spoke with Tracy He of Home Saving Inc., a Markham-based heating and cooling company, for her tips on keeping heat indoors.
Fix leaking air ducts
Duct vents run from the top of the furnace to each room in the house to distribute hot air. If you notice weak air blowing from some vent registers or if it takes longer to heat your house, you may have leaky air ducts.
Clean air ducts
Blocked or dusty ducts trap unused heat inside the ducts. “Duct cleaning can improve the air flow and air quality in the house, making it easier for the hot air to reach all the areas of the house,” says He. Home Saving recommends duct cleaning every two to three years, especially after renovations and more frequently in homes with pets.
Schedule regular furnace maintenance
During furnace maintenance service, a technician assesses how much heat is produced by your furnace and how much of that heat is actually used to heat your home. Regular maintenance is important for keeping your furnace at optimal operational condition and can also prevent problems, making it less likely your furnace will break down on the coldest days of winter.
Replace furnace filters
“A dirty or blocked filter starves the furnace for air it needs to operate, making the fan motor work harder and eventually burn out,” says He. Furnace filters improve the air quality in the house by capturing dust and other pollutants. Inspecting filters every month and replacing them every three to six months will help make your furnace more efficient and your home more comfortable.
Block air leaks
Replacing the caulking around windows and doors is an easy do-it-yourself project that can improve a heat loss issue in your home.
Add attic insulation
Since heat rises, adding some extra insulation to your attic is an easy way to trap heat inside your home. Homeowners who top up attic insulation could also receive a government rebate of $1,100 when done in conjunction with replacing the furnace.
Install a humidifier
A humidifier adds moisture to the air which retains heat better than dry air and keeps the house warm for longer periods.
Do you think it’s time for a new furnace? Or are you planning for the summer season and thinking about purchasing a new air conditioner? Home Saving Inc. will work with you to evaluate your current systems and determine what’s best for your home.