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Winter Heating Tips for Arizona Home

Winter Heating Tips for Arizona Home

Properly heating your home in the winter is essential, wherever you live. Even in Phoenix and Maricopa County, where temperatures are hardly as cold as in other parts of the country, energy efficiency is paramount. Read on to discover some helpful tips to ensure you are maximizing your energy efficiency as much as possible in the coming winter months.

How To Prepare For Winter in Arizona

Winter in Maricopa County and the valley may not be as severe as in Montana or Michigan, but it still marks a significant change. Brutally hot, dry summer weather gives way to nights that can sometimes become quite cool.

For this reason, enjoying the cold weather in Phoenix is not as simple as letting it roll in. In fact, there are a number of steps that are vital to take to make sure your home is well-prepared for winter months — and that your average electric bill in Phoenix, AZ, does not excessively balloon when the temperature dips.

Prepare Your Heating System

Preparing your heating system for winter is one of the most important steps to take towards energy efficiency. A few simple steps can make a world of difference in terms of smoothly getting through the heating season.

  • Check to make sure your thermostat is working accurately, and consider purchasing a digital thermostat if you still use an analog one — these can be far more efficient and can help keep energy costs down.
  • Check all vents on your HVAC system to ensure they are unobstructed and free of any debris. You can also vacuum out individual vents to ensure any small objects are removed.
  • Change HVAC filters before winter to keep your system working efficiently and avoid an unnecessary rise in heating costs over the winter.
  • Consider having a professional maintenance check before winter to ensure there are no missed problems.

Clean and Check Your Fireplace

In addition to thoroughly reviewing your HVAC system to ensure it is working properly, it is very important to check and clean your fireplace before winter (if you have one). A thorough check of a fireplace includes a number of essential steps:

  • Cleaning the chimney each season is vital, as the excessive buildup of creosote inside it can be a major safety hazard and start fires. Some homeowners are equipped to clean their chimneys, but hiring a professional to ensure the job is done right is best.
  • Creosote is not the only concern for chimneys. When cleaning, you will want to thoroughly check in and around the chimney for debris — twigs, birds’ nests, or other items — that may have blocked or damaged the chimney.
  • Check the outside of the fireplace and chimney for any noticeable cracks or other changes. These damages can sometimes occur with high heat and, ideally, should be repaired before the heating season begins.
  • Double-check that all of your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are working. It is doubly helpful to have a smoke detector near the fireplace to catch any dangerous situations quickly.
  • Depending on the design of your fireplace, you will likely want to clear ash from the fireplace or catchment area before the season begins.

Following these tips can help maximize energy efficiency and keep your home safe when you’re cozying up by a roaring fire!

Quick Winter Energy Tips

In addition to the broad systems reviews outlined above, a number of smaller tips can be highly effective in promoting energy efficiency in cold weather.

Set Thermostat’s Fan Setting to “AUTO” — Not “ON”

By putting your fan on AUTO, it will be able to effectively modulate itself through the colder weather — avoiding blowing cool air through your vents and wasting energy and electricity.

Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse To Turn Down Thermostat

Running ceiling fans normally in the warmer month helps to cool your home. In the winter, try the opposite. By running your ceiling fans in reverse, you can re-circulate warm air throughout the room. This may even allow you to lower the temperature on your thermostat and save money.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

You can save a whole lot of money — and promote energy efficiency — by using a programmable thermostat. By turning the temperature down when you are away from the house and at night, you can ensure you do not waste electricity unnecessarily.

Seal Air Duct Leaks

Take a look around your home for air ducts, pipes, vents, or wires coming into your home or into specific rooms. Even a small gap can be responsible for a noticeable loss of heat. Sealing them is easy and affordable and can help improve energy efficiency in your home.

Do A Basic Furnace Inspection

If your home has a traditional furnace, it is essential to do an inspection each heating season. While service from a professional is vital, doing a quick check on your own can alert you to any immediate problems.

  • Check for rust or water leakage around your furnace — particularly around the base. Any sign of structural damage indicates that you should have service performed immediately.
  • Check around the furnace for anything flammable. These can be a major safety hazard and should be removed immediately. Even basic “clutter” around the furnace could be a hazard, so be sure to clear some space around it and generally clean around it as well.
  • Change the furnace filter, if necessary.
  • Schedule a maintenance inspection. Furnaces are complicated machines and are best double-checked by a professional.

Professional Maintenance Checks

In general, professional maintenance checks are essential at the start of the heating season. Even in a warmer climate like Phoenix’s, a maintenance check can ensure your system works efficiently and exposes any systemic vulnerabilities you may have missed. While the tips above are a great way to get started, there is simply no substitute for a professional check.

If you live in Maricopa County or the valley and need to review your HVAC system, call AccuTemp. With extensive experience in commercial and residential HVAC systems, we can ensure your heating system is well-prepared for winter. Visit us online or call us at 602-957-3745.

Image Source: Alexander Weickart / Shutterstock

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