With winter weather closing in, here are 9 simple and highly affordable ways to make sure your family’s comfort and safety is at its peak before the coldest weather arrives.

1. Change your filter. Swapping your filter will help your system “breathe” when in operation. When it’s clogged due to a dirty filter, it’s literally adding dollars to your energy bills. Normally, swapping at 60 days or even up to 90 may be acceptable. If you have a pet that sheds, closer to 30 days is recommended.

Bonus filter tip: Choose the cheapest filters from your home improvement store, unless you have sensitive family members with severe allergies. Those affordable filters will catch the bulk of the dust and dander just fine, saving you some serious bucks over the unnecessary high-end filters.

2. Don’t block vents. Make sure that furniture, curtains, coffee tables and other items are not obstructing your floor vents. Your system was designed to have air flow pouring out of those vents, and when blocked, it will not heat your home properly.

Bonus vent tip: If dog or pet hair is bunching up around your HVAC returns, be sure to vacuum it up and keep it out of your ductwork.

3. Understand your Thermostat. Are you leaving your thermostat on a single temperature for the entire heating season? If we installed your system or if you have a programmable thermostat, there are many ways we can help you gain peak efficiency during the right times of day, including via your smartphone. Please contact us for advice and we’re happy to help you program your thermostat to perform at its peak!

4. Help Your Heat Pump Perform. With fall leaves dropping all over, it’s important to make sure your heat pump is clear of leaves and other debris. Also, make sure any brush, bushes or trees are trimmed back at least 18-24″ from your outdoor unit for proper air flow.

5. Cue your curtains at the right time. Make sure you open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day and milk as much natural heat as possible from the sun. Close them at night to keep the chill away!

6. Wrap your Water Heater with a Blanket. If you have a traditional electric or gas water heater tank, there’s a simple way to embrace better efficiency. Get one of these insulated blankets from a local home store and you’ll keep the warmth in the tank instead of seeping out. This one is made from recycled denim and costs peanuts!

7. Be Prepared to Fight Fire. Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? Fire is one of the highest threats to your home, and having an extinguisher is not only convenient, but it’s also very affordable. For the price of a few cups of coffee, you can enjoy the peace of mind of a good extinguisher.

8. Know your Water Shut-off. Freezing weather can potentially cause pipes to burst. Do you know where your home’s water shut-off valve is? Do you have the proper tool to shut off that valve? When we service or repair your home, we’re happy to help you identify these critical elements of your house!

9. Get a Heating Tune-up. There are many benefits to a complete 21-point precision tune-up of your home, but one stands out over them all: a true Combustion Analysis. This is the *only* way to identify any hairline cracks in your gas furnace that may result in an odorless carbon monoxide gas leak.

Whether you choose our company or another, it’s imperative that you get an annual heating tune-up and that the company uses a Combustion Analyzer to measure any leaks.

Follow these 9 winter heating, safety & efficiency tips, and you’ll be in great shape as the coldest weather creeps in over the coming weeks!

If you want to schedule your $68 Heating Tune-Up (first system) before the big winter freeze hits, call us at 770-271-7511 or contact us and we’ll send our HVAC experts to your home!

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