When the weather gets harder to bear outside, it can feel like we’re constantly struggling to escape the extreme heat or cold by retreating into the sanctuary of our homes. But if your home isn’t equipped to actually heat or cool any space with ease, it’s not going to feel like such a sanctuary anymore. A lot of older houses can be pretty drafty and in need of a new heating or cooling system courtesy of One Hour Heating and Air. But outdated equipment isn’t always the problem, or at least, not the only one. If you’re trying to get your HVAC unit to actually work in the way it’s supposed to and reduce your heating bills at the same time, you’re going to need help finding better ways to help your home stay sealed and keep everything performing at a consistent level. Even if you have an outdated heating system in your home, you can still find a way to get more use out of it with just a few simple hacks. If you’re struggling to achieve the perfect home temperature, here’s what you should do.
1. Insulate Smarter
If you’ve been assuming that your insulation doesn’t need to be updated every so often, you’ve got a rude awakening in store. While many homes can go without any kind of insulation update for a while, it’s important to always check your insulation every winter to make sure everything is in place, has stayed in one piece, and most importantly, isn’t a fire hazard. A lot of older, dryer foam insulation can actually be extremely dangerous if a home’s wiring hasn’t been updated. In fact, if you turn on your heating for the first time in the winter and smell a faint burning odor, you may be dealing with burned insulation that’s brushing up against a sparking wire. Insulation is a serious deal. Even if you’re not in need of an update, it’s good to get into the habit of checking your insulation just to make sure you’re not dealing with any gaps, cracks, or hazards.
2. Get a Smart Thermostat
Most households don’t need the heat or AC on all the time. Except for those exceptionally hot nights or freezing winter days, you can mostly get away with keeping your heating and cooling systems at bay while you and your family members are out during the day. If you’re not thrilled by the idea of walking into a freezing cold or stifling hot house at the end of the day, don’t worry. Getting a smart thermostat will allow you to control the heating inside your home from any remote location. This means that, like with some home security systems, you can actually control the heating system while on vacation, at the office, or driving home from work. Newer models make it pretty simple to do, and you don’t even have to spring for an expensive Nest thermostat to get the same results. You can pre-program your thermostat to lower down at night and during the day when no one’s home and set it to come on right before you arrive home for the day.
3. Use Space Heaters
When it gets really cold, sometimes smaller rooms need a bit of extra love. Space heaters are great for quickly heating up tinier spaces around the home that tend to stay a bit colder, such as bathrooms with tile flooring. The great thing is, you don’t need to leave the heater on for too long before the room starts to fill with hot air. You can turn off your space heater and enjoy a freshly-heated room that will stay cozy for a while before needing more heat. Since space heaters are portable, you could ostensibly heat several rooms using this method. It doesn’t use anywhere near the amount of electricity that your central heating system does, and most models are quite inexpensive.
4. Keep Your Home Sealed
If you’re feeling the chill or feeling suffocated by the heat despite the central air being on at full blast, something’s missing. When you can’t seem to control the temperature inside your home no matter what, it usually comes down to a problem of drafts and air leaks proliferating your windows, door gaps, and even your floorboards. A drafty home is impossible to cool and heat properly, and it can drive you crazy blasting the heating or cooling to absolutely no effect. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to create a more sealed, leak-free exterior. If you have a sheet of plastic on hand, you can use a hair dryer to create a seal around your window to catch drafts. You can plug up any holes you see with some caulking and install a door seal to stop the air from getting in.