Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient This Winter

Energy Efficiency

Everyone could use a few extra bucks to spend on loved ones this holiday season. With heating/cooling accounting for a major chunk of your household expenses, efficiency is the key in keeping costs down. Here are a few tips from Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning to keep your home energy efficient this winter.

Clean/Replace Air Filters Regularly

Did you know that the #1 reason that your AC system isn’t working properly is a dirty filter? HVAC filters that haven’t been cleaned or replaced regularly can restrict airflow to the house and reduce the overall efficiency of the system. You should be replacing or cleaning your HVAC filters regularly, especially if you have pets or someone living with lung-related ailments like asthma.

Depending on the type of filter and its Merv rating, there are different guidelines for how often to clean them:

  • Disposable Mesh Filters (Merv 1-4) – 1 month or when it looks dirty
  • Pleated Filters 1” or 2” (Merv 5-8) – 1-3 months, visually check your filter
  • Pleated Filters 3”, 4” or 5” (Merv 8-16) – 6 months – 1 year, visually check your filter

Clean and Clear Your Vents

Blocked vents reduce efficiency and cause your air conditioner to work harder than it should to heat up your home. Inspect your vents for common blockages like furniture, rugs or other items that may be blocking the airflow. 

Once you have removed blockages, take a few minutes to clean the vent and remove any dust, dirt or grime. Dirty vents distribute dirt, dust and other particles around your house which could be hazardous to your health. Having clean vents is especially important if you or your family has allergies or lung-related conditions.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

According to the Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your bill each year by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for at least 8 hours a day. Programmable thermostats allow you to keep track of your home temperature while away from the house, set heating and cooling schedules that optimize your energy consumption and provide a convenient way to manage your AC system.


Every degree matters when it comes to your energy costs.

Seal Any Heat Leaks

Seal Any Heat LeaksYour home has many areas where cold air can breach if insulation measures have been neglected or worn over time. Using nothing but foam sealant and weatherizing silicone caulk, you can hunt down heat leaks that may be contributing to your high energy bill. Here are some primary culprits of heat loss:

  • Exterior door thresholds – If you can see daylight under your door, then you’ve probably found a heat leak. In fact, up to 12% of heat loss in the home happens around doors and windows. If the weather stripping around the door looks worn, replace it.
  • Window frames – Check for old or cracked caulk and replace it.
  • Attic doors – Because heat rises, a drafty attic door or access hatch can suck up the warmth in your house and leave you with a higher electric bill.
  • Electrical outlets – On a cold day, do any outlets feel cold or even give off a faint draft? If so, you can remove the outlet cover and use caulking to fill gaps around the outside of the box.
  • Plumbing entrances – Any place where pipes enter and leave the home should be sealed with foam or caulk.
  • Chimney – Have the damper in your chimney checked to be sure that it fits snugly in order to prevent heat leaks.

Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule

I know that maintaining your HVAC unit doesn’t sound like a fun task this holiday season, but it may save you a lot of money both in energy costs every month and in the extension of the life of your unit. A new HVAC unit can cost thousands of dollars. Keep that cost as far off as possible with these maintenance tips and a bi-yearly inspection from the certified professionals at Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

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