Everyone that lives in Gainesville and the surrounding areas is probably grateful for the cooler weather we have been experiencing! As you open your windows and turn off the AC. It’s important to prepare for when it gets a little too chilly and it comes time to switch to heating from cooling.
Switching From Cooling to Heating Best Practices
It may seem simple and self-explanatory, and for the most part, it is! But, there are some best practices to ensure that your heating and cooling system are properly prepared for winter.
Before you turn on the heat, a simple furnace inspection can go a long way to guarantee your system is ready for winter. This isn’t completely necessary to do before turning on your heater, so don’t freeze if you can’t get an inspection in time for the cold weather. However, if you are thinking ahead, an inspection is a great way to make sure your system is clean and your filters are changed!
Turning Up The Heat
It is best to switch your system to “heat” after the system completes an entire cycle. Therefore, if your AC is currently running, make sure that it switches itself off. When in between cycles, switch the thermostat from “cool” to “off.”
Leave the system in “off” mode for at least 5 minutes. If you don’t wait, this could cause issues with your system’s pressure, if the pressure is too high when you switch to “heat,” the compressor can lock up and cause a blown fuse or tripped breaker.
If your heat doesn’t come on right away, you may have to check the furnace itself to make sure it is turned on. Most furnaces have a switch on the side of the furnace, so make sure this is in the on position.
Prepping Your AC for the Cold
As Floridians, we don’t have to deal with the same level of temperatures as our friends up North. Even so, there are still steps you should take to prepare your AC for the winter.
- Turn the power to your AC off: There should be a small box on the outside of your house near the condenser. This is where you will find the power switch for your AC unit. Turning this off is a great way to save energy, as it keeps your unit from turning on during unseasonably warm days, and reduces the risk when completing other maintenance tasks.
- Clean Your AC Unit: When your AC Unit is turned off, this is a great time to do some cleaning to the exterior of your system. Removing unwanted leaves, dust, dirt, pollen, and everything else that manages to dirty your unit is a great way to keep your unit from getting clogged in the seasons it is running.
- Cover The AC Unit: Despite not having to deal with snow and very little ice, covering your unit in the winter is a great way to keep your system from cracking or rusting while it isn’t running.
Heating Tips for This Winter
We all have felt the increased cost of Gainesville Regional Utilities, better known as GRU, this summer. Gator Air and Energy has already given you our tips and tricks to keeping your AC bill low, so here are some tips to get the most out of your Furnace this winter. Most of which, not surprisingly, is the exact opposite advice to keep your AC bill down.
Keep Your Heater Set to 68°
Similar to keeping your AC at a modestly higher temperature, keeping your heater at a lower temperature will save you money. For every degree below 70°, you can expect to cut your energy bill by 5%. This means you can save 10% on your energy bill, simply by keeping your heat set to 68°. It is called sweater weather for a reason after all!
Flip Your Fan Switch
If you followed our guide to keep your AC bill low, then your fan is probably rotating counterclockwise. Now that the temperature has fallen, and we are switching to heating from cooling, it is time to switch the fan to rotate clockwise. This pushes warm air down and reduces the stress on your furnace.
Direct Heat to the Rooms That Need it Most
The bigger your living space, the more energy it takes to keep your home warm. A great way to reduce energy consumption is to close the vents and doors to rooms that aren’t being used. This keeps the rooms you spend time in nice and cozy, without overworking your furnace..
Don’t Turn Your Heat Off When You are Not at Home
It may seem like turning off your heater when no one is home would be a great way to save energy. If the temperature outside isn’t too cold, this may be the case. But, if the temperature inside your home drops too low. It can take more resources to heat your home back to being comfortable as opposed to turning it completely off.
Not to mention, you also run the risk of your pipes bursting if the temperature of your home drops below freezing.
Improving Your Homes Insulation
Poor insulation in your home could cost you an additional 15% of your energy bill. There are a few DIY methods to improve insulation to reduce your heating bill this winter. The biggest offenders of poor insulation are typically the cracks in your doors and windows. These can be filled with weather stripping or caulk and make a massive difference in your home’s insulation.
Maintain Your Heating System
Just like AC units, heating systems get worn down over extended periods of time. One of the best ways to ensure your furnace is working properly is to schedule an inspection of your system.
There is also a time when older systems are so inefficient that they cost more money than a new system would save you. Especially in the Gainesville area, there are a lot of older homes that have been using the same system for over 15 years. If this is the case, it may be time to consider the value of a new furnace or heat pump for your home.
Are you ready to switch your system from cooling to heating?
Now that you have these tips and tricks for heating your home this winter, you should be better prepared to save money and reduce wear on your heating system. There are a few best practices that only experts in the HVAC industry can perform, and for these services, Gator Air & Energy is your go-to Gainesville HVAC company this winter!
Get in touch with our experts today, to ensure that your family stays warm this winter, without breaking the bank!