When the leaves start to fall and mornings begin to feel chilly, you know fall has arrived in Fairview, Texas. Keeping your home warm and cozy can get expensive, but preparing before the temperature drops can pay off in a big way. Prepare your home for cold weather with these nine budget-friendly tips.

Increase Your Home’s Insulation

As your utility bill reminds you every month, energy comes at a cost. That’s why one of the most cost-effective ways to prepare for cool weather involves decreasing your household’s energy needs. Get an energy audit to locate the problem areas in your home, or take the following steps to increase insulation throughout.

Start with the doors and windows. If you can feel drafts or air leaking through closed windows or doors, take steps to keep the air out. Add a brush trim to the bottom of all doors, and add weatherstripping around doors and windows. If you can see cracks around the window frames, use caulk to seal them up. If you have single-paned glass or crumbling window frames, it might even be in your best interest to replace the windows altogether.

Next, check the attic. As a general rule, your attic should have about 12 inches of insulation. If the ceiling joists protrude far beyond the insulation, you probably need more to keep your home adequately insulated.

Don’t forget to check the spots where pipes, cables, and ducts enter your home from the outside. If the seals are compromised or the insulation is lacking, address these issues to prevent hidden air leaks.

Add Window Coverings

You might consider blinds and curtains to be interior decor issues, but window coverings can have a big impact on how your home handles cool weather. Replace or enhance your window coverings to keep cold drafts out and give your home a seasonal look.

Wooden and vinyl blinds are great for keeping the summer sun from overheating your home, but they don’t work quite as well at warming your home in the winter. For a minimal look, try replacing blinds with shades. Mount them as close to the window as possible, and do your best to create a seal with the wall around the window. If you invest in dual shades, keep the reflective side facing inward and the heat-absorbent side facing outward during the winter.

You can also add extra texture and color to the room with curtains. Heavier curtains in medium and dark colors are best at keeping heat inside, as long as you hang them close to the window and allow them to cover the entire window. Curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 10 percent, and if you use Velcro to attach them to the wall, you could reduce heat loss by up to 25 percent more.

Ready the Ceiling Fans

On chilly days, staying warm is about more than just keeping the cool air out. If you’re not ready to turn on your heat pump or furnace yet, you can keep the warm air flowing without breaking the bank.

If you’ve lived in Fairview for long, you already know that ceiling fans keep your home cool on hot summer days. But did you know that they also help you stay warm in the winter? Switch your ceiling fans to the clockwise direction, and they’ll push warm air down, helping you feel a little cozier.

Check Your Ductwork

Even after you turn on the furnace for the season, you might not feel as warm as you should. If you’ve already tackled insulation issues, the source of the temperature problem might be right inside your home.

At Bill Joplin’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we take pride in installing efficient, well-sealed ductwork. Over time, however, even the best ductwork can develop cracks, holes, and air leaks. In fact, leaky ductwork can waste up to 20 percent of the energy that your heating system generates.

Fortunately, that’s a percentage of your utility bill that you can get back. Our experienced HVAC technicians can check your ductwork, repair broken seals and cracks, and help you get your energy consumption back down to where it should be.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance

While you can wait a few years between ductwork inspections, your heating system needs preventive maintenance once a year. This isn’t something you’ll want to DIY, since it requires serious technical know-how and professional experience.

Instead, call our team to schedule an annual heating system tuneup. We’ll change the air filter, check the wiring, make sure any gas connections are safe, and lubricate any moving parts. We’ll also make sure your furnace or heat pump is still operating efficiently, so your family can stay warm without wasting energy.

Upgrade Your Old Heating System

If your heating system is more than 10 or 15 years old, it might need more than just annual maintenance. From decreased efficiency to frequent breakdowns, a number of factors can signal that it’s time to upgrade your old heating system.

Replacing your furnace or heat pump might not sound like a budget-friendly option, but a new system can help you save money over time. If you’ve watched your utility bills climb over the past several months or years, a new heating system can help you increase efficiency, save on repair costs, and lower utility bills.

Not sure if it’s the right time for a new system? Our technicians can help you weigh the costs and advise about new technology that can boost your home’s efficiency.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

Manual thermostats don’t cost much, and they offer little in terms of energy-efficiency and convenience. Replacing your old device with a new smart thermostat will set you back a few hundred dollars, but it can help you save big and stop worrying about whether you left the furnace on all day.

With our range of smart thermostats, you can program your family’s schedule, so your HVAC system won’t waste energy while you’re asleep or away from home. Since you can connect to your smart thermostat from virtually anywhere in the world, you can always check to see whether it’s on and make adjustments as necessary. Prompt your smart thermostat to generate energy reports, and you can even track how much energy you’re using throughout the day, week, or month.

Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

You’re bound to spend more time inside as temperatures cool in the fall and winter, so keeping your indoor air quality high is essential. As our HVAC technicians know, air quality needs can shift dramatically as the seasons change.

In the winter, you’re likely to encounter dry air that makes your home feel uncomfortably cool. Instead of turning up the thermostat and using more energy, try investing in a whole-house humidifier. This device works with your existing HVAC system to add moisture, maintain a healthy humidity level, and help you feel warmer.

Worried about dust and pet dander during the winter? An air cleaner can keep air quality under control, removing up to 95 percent of airborne contaminants. Some air purifier models can even capture and kill viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, which can give you extra peace of mind during cold season.

Concerned about other air quality issues like poor ventilation or carbon monoxide? We have a range of air quality solutions that will help your family breathe clean all year long.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

Lighting a fire is a great way to warm up your family room, but you shouldn’t get the fire started without scheduling an annual chimney inspection first. Every time you use your fireplace, a byproduct called creosote builds up in the chimney. A small amount of this substance won’t cause problems, but creosote buildup can eventually cause fires.

Hire a chimney sweep to clean out any dangerous buildup, identify structural problems, and ensure that your chimney cap is in place. After this important step, you can cozy up near the fire all winter long.

From upgrading your heating system to insulating your home, there’s so much you can do to keep your home warm on a budget. Contact Bill Joplin’s Air Conditioning & Heating to learn more about the most affordable and efficient heating solutions for your home: 888-414-4655.

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