The holidays can be a busy time of year, and you want to be comfortable during the celebrations. Having your HVAC system working properly is essential to making the holiday season enjoyable. Here are five ways to prepare your home and HVAC system for the holidays and make sure your heating and cooling system is up to speed.
1. Program Your Thermostat
One way to get ready for the holidays is to set your thermostat to a comfortable but not too warm temperature. Depending on house size and the number of people in the house, the right temperature will vary, but setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the fall and winter usually works well.
At night, you could lower the temperature to 65 degrees in the winter season. Following a set temperature will not only help keep your home comfortable during the holidays but also save on energy costs.
With guests in your home, the temperature will increase due to body heat. Sometimes a house gets too warm because the same settings are left from when there were fewer people. You can manually check the settings or reprogram the thermostat for new temperatures to coincide with the day and night.
Investing in a smart thermostat before the holidays may be a good idea. These thermostats allow you to easily set schedules for different times of the day and night. That provides energy savings and comfort advantages.
Instead of turning up the heat, rely more on blankets at night to make sure that your guests and you stay warm. At night, we also tend to sleep better with cooler temperatures.
If you plan to leave for the holidays, set your thermostat even lower to help keep energy costs down. You can program your thermostat to adjust the temperature back up when you return.
2. Have Your Furnace Inspected
Your furnace is a central part of your HVAC system. Making sure it is operating efficiently is a great way to prepare your home for the holidays.
An inspection of your furnace will ensure that the gas pipes, motor, and fan are working correctly. This maintenance visit will also check for rust and dirt buildup, water leaks, and obstructions in hoses. The electrical connections and heat exchanger will also be inspected.
Furnace inspections include making sure the airflow is working right. Restricted airflow strains a furnace, making it more difficult to achieve the desired temperature in the house. This strain could also shorten the life of your furnace. These inspections will likewise ensure that your furnace is safe from gas or carbon monoxide leaks and other potentially hazardous situations.
We recommend having your furnace inspected every year before the start of winter. Not arranging for an inspection could lead to costly repairs and could steer your holidays in the wrong direction. Preventive maintenance will ultimately help your furnace last longer by improving its efficiency and providing a long-term benefit.
3. Change Your HVAC System’s Air Filters
As you gear up for the holidays, you may also need to change your HVAC filters. Filters build up dust and particles over time and need to be replaced about every three months.
The summer season typically brings added pollen, dust, and dirt into air filters. As you switch to cooler temperatures, that debris gets released into the air when you turn on the heat.
Clean filters help your heating and air conditioning system operate better by allowing air to circulate more freely. If dirt and household debris block the filters, your HVAC system has to work harder to push heat and air through the house. This could add up to a costly repair at the wrong time of year.
Air filters can be checked during a maintenance appointment. Clean filters will allow your guests and you to breathe better air and will help with indoor allergies. Changing out filters will improve heating and energy efficiency and help your HVAC system last much longer than the holidays.
4. Check and Clean HVAC System’s Air Vents
If you don’t know the location of your air vents, it’s a good idea to find and check them before the holidays. They may be behind furniture or in hallways and could be blocked from accumulating dust and particles.
Check both the supply and return vents to make sure they are working. Blocked vents cause an uneven air flow in your house and make for uncomfortable conditions. Make sure that rugs or furniture are not blocking your vents.
Vents can be cleaned with a vacuum or duster. They can also be checked during a maintenance visit. Like air filters, clean vents are central to a properly working HVAC system.
Dusting and vacuuming the house and furniture regularly and before guests arrive will also help keep your vents open and ready for the holidays.
5. Use Ceiling Fans and Sunlight
Making use of your ceiling fans in the summer months helps keep you cool. These fans move the air around and create a wind-chill effect that allows you to feel cooler at the same temperature.
Using them in the winter can also help keep you warmer. If you switch your ceiling fans to reverse, they will draw warmer air from the ceiling downward. This movement takes advantage of the fact that warm air rises and circulates back toward you. Ceiling fans thus shift the heat provided by your furnace to make better use of it.
In addition, you can take advantage of the warmest hours of the day and let the sunlight shine through your windows to warm a room. You can open the blinds or curtains in the morning to let this natural heat source into your home, so you don’t have to turn up the thermostat.
When the sun is setting, close the curtains or blinds to help retain the warmth that has accumulated in the house from the sun and heating system. Studies on sunlight have also indicated that this light exposure will help improve your mood and increase your energy.
Both fans and sunlight can help make the temperature comfortable during the holidays and save you money by not using your heat or AC as much.
Additional Way to Get Ready for the Holidays
There are other ways to get your home and HVAC ready for the holidays. Here are a few more:
- Test the heating system
- Arrange for air duct maintenance
- Check window seals
- Dress warmer when indoors
Trustworthy Heating Services
Please feel free to visit our website for more information about heating systems and how to keep your house comfortable for the holidays. We provide heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance services to Apex, NC, and the surrounding Triangle Area. We can take care of all your HVAC needs. Contact us at 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment! We have been proudly serving the community since 1998.