Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient This Winter

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Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient This Winter

With heating and cooling accounting for a major chunk of your household expenses, energy efficient home are 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. 

Let the Sun Shine In

During the summer months, it’s advised to close your curtains as the heat of the sun will also heat up your home increasing cooling costs. In the winter, however, it’s best to keep those curtains and blinds open. The natural sunlight not only will make your home look great, but the warmth will help heat your home without the need for heating costs.

Clean/Replace Air Filters Regularly

Did you know that the #1 reason that AC systems break down prematurely, is because of 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. A dirty AC filter places more strain on the unit, as the airflow is constricted to not only getting through the filter itself, but through the dust and mites that have masked the airway. And if you’re thinking that’s gross – yes, it is. 

Make your home more energy efficient by replacing or cleaning your HVAC filters regularly. You should be cleaning your AC filter even more frequently if you have pets or someone living with lung-related ailments like asthma in your home.

dirty, non-energy efficient ac air filter 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 air flow.

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.

Have a Fireplace? Keep Your Damper Closed

Feet warming by fireplace- energy efficient

A fireplace damper is a mechanism that keeps your fireplace sealed when not in use. Keeping your damper open during the winter is like leaving a window or a door open. Hundreds of dollars could be flying right out of your chimney.

Here in Florida, the time to comfortably use a fireplace is rare. That said, they can often get overlooked as a potential source for a heat leak.  Remember to include the fireplace in your efforts to make your home more energy-efficient.

Follow these simple steps to ensure your fireplace isn’t decreasing your home’s energy efficiency.

  • Close your fireplace damper
  • Make sure your chimney flu is sealed as well
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth

Reverse the Flow of Your Ceiling Fan

When you and your guests need to cool off, you should run your ceiling fan counterclockwise so that the slant of the fan blades push cool air down to you. The opposite is true when you are looking to warm up.

Energy-efficient tip: Reversing your ceiling fan’s direction to clockwise as you look up at it, will help circulate hot air around the room.

Hot air rises. So, the temperature of the air above the fan is warmer than below it- where we tend to congregate. Setting your fan to move clockwise on low will help to move that warmer air around the room increasing the room temperature and reducing your need for heating.

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

3d house with arrows of heat loss showing a non energy efficient home

Your 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 percent 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

Maintaining your HVAC unit may not sound like a fun task, but it could 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. Avoid that cost for as long as possible with these maintenance tips and a bi-yearly inspection from the certified professionals at Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

Originally Published 12/23/2019 Updated 1/6/21



Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service heating and air conditioning company and a Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer in Central Florida. Whether you need repair, maintenance, or installation of a new heating or cooling system, we provide efficient, cost-effective, and professional service. When it’s hot, call Scott!

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I have always used Scott's because they are the best! This service was for an installation of a new unit. Craig, Dominic, Jessica, Desmond and Sybil were all great! There was a young man who came out to help with the thermostat setup, he was great too. Very nice experience
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Oh my god what an amazing company! I literally called one hour ago and said that my thermostat wasn’t working and there was a knock on my door within the hour! They told us what to do to fix it therefore saving us a $600 bill. They came right away, none of that we can see you in 48 hour junk. Amazing.
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They were able to provide me with same day service, friendly and very responsive. Also, I got 2 other quotes and the pricing was the most competitive.
So thankful and impressed! My dad returned home after having open heart surgery to a completely dead HVAC system in the middle of summer. Definitely not ideal. The repair was going to be pricey so he opted for a new unit. A crew came out on a Saturday and did a very clean and efficient install. Highly recommend this company!!!
Brooke Riley
Brooke Riley
Very professional, work very neat and cleaned up and removed stuff. Very impressed with all of the staff and the company.
Our AC decided to quit during one of the hottest heatwaves in years. We called Scott's and someone was at the house to give us a quote in 30 min. From the moment they answered our first phone call through the install everyone was amazing, professional and provided a quality product and excellent service. Craig, Jose, Dexter were awesome! One of the new guys brought us a portable unit at 9:30 PM on a Friday so we could sleep. We missed his name, but shout out to him as well (he likes to give high fives). Thanks Scott and team for everything. We highly recommend!!!
K Harper
K Harper
For the past week I've worked with Craig on getting estimates for a new A/C unit, and he has been great at answering my questions and addressing any concerns. Very responsive and knowledgeable, straight shooter and direct! I didn't have to deal with any up-selling like working with a used car salesman (I experienced that with other bigger local A/C companies providing quotes). For these qualities alone I would recommend Scott's A/C, even though I will disclose that we ultimately went with another quote from a family referral of an A/C company. Had that family referral not been apart of our consideration, we would definitely choose and recommend Scott's for new A/C installs and service!
Dan in sales, outstanding jobgoing over equipment and helping us make what was the best decisions for us on purchasing new a/cinstall, plus scheduling the next day!Boris and Justin were excellent with communications while install and after! very clean, professional taking old out and installing new!ty
We can't thank Scott's enough. We came home to a air conditioner barely limping along. I called Scott's first thing in the morning and they had a technician out that day. Unfortunately our system could not be saved. The salesman Craig came out that day as well and quoted a new system. Since it was a Friday we could not get the system installed until Tuesday. Scott's provided us with a portable system which definitely helped during the grueling heat wave in Central Florida. Tuesday came, the installers showed up on time and did an awesome installation job. Cleaned everything up and went on their way. Everyone was pleasant, professional and great to work with! Thank You Scott's Heating & Cooling!
Rodger Marty
Rodger Marty
Always happy with their response time. Issue started last night causing our A/C unit to shut down. Made a call to Scott's Heating and Air in the morning and a tech was here by 10:45am. Tyrie, the tech, is awesome. He quickly took care of the problem and had us up and running in no time at all. He is knowledgeable and professional and did a great job.
Perfect company to do business with. Professional and courteous in all phases of project.
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Excellent job getting my new system installed. Friendly and professional staff. Would recommend this company to anyone who needs ac work done.
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Michael Imlay

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