Like most of the Southeastern United States, Stafford, VA, has muggy summers and cold winters. Now it’s time to brave winter’s chill, and since the coldest months have yet to come, you still have time to protect your HVAC system from the blistering cold. These three tips will help you safeguard your heating system this winter.

1. Don’t Keep Objects Around Your Heater

Clutter can be difficult to eliminate. Although clutter might seem innocent, it can have substantial unwanted effects on your home’s heating system.

Furniture, appliances and clothes are all fire hazards. When discussing the potential of home fires, it seems like everything short of ice sculptures can be a fire hazard. Strive to keep all items at least 3 feet away from heaters.

Outside of fire hazards, clearing your furnace of obstructions will also improve indoor airflow. In addition to boosting comfort, this measure reduces HVAC strain, thereby shrinking your utility bills.

2. Schedule HVAC Maintenance

While not as intense as winters in Minnesota, Virginia winters are undeniably cold. After the Old Dominion’s super-humid summers, the state’s cold weather can force significant wear and tear upon your HVAC system.

Don’t consider performing maintenance on your own. You won’t know how to spot signs of impending heater failure. Additionally, you could subject your HVAC system to even more damage, racking up a bill without even improving your home’s heating capabilities.

3. Should You Cut the Heat Off While at Work?

Have you heard about the idea of turning your home’s heat completely off while at work or otherwise away from home? Many say that this supposedly commonsense strategy significantly reduces your home’s energy expenditures, saving you money.

It goes without saying that lower energy consumption yields lower utility bills. On its own, turning the heat off does, in fact, reduce energy consumption. If you’ll be gone for at least two nights, turning your home’s heat off may prove useful.

In all other situations, this strategy yields poor results. When you return home and crank your heater up, it works extra hard to heat your home. Placing undue stress on your HVAC system can increase the need for repairs, shorten its life and raise your energy bills.

A suitable alternative is lowering the temperature roughly 8 to 10 degrees while you’re away from home. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Potomac Electric Power Company agree that this energy consumption reduction method can lower your heating bill by 10%.

For help with HVAC services including heater replacement or 24-hour emergency furnace repair, call us at Ultimate Air, Inc. We’re based in Stafford and serve much of Northern Virginia.

Image provided by iStock

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