As the Treasure Valley starts to transition into colder weather and snow flurries, it’s time to start winterizing not only the house, but storage sheds and other outbuildings as well. While storage areas don’t need to stay warm, they do need to stay safe and dry so the items in them are protected from the elements.
When winterizing the home, here are some items to focus on:
- Windows and Doors– If not winterized properly, drafts can get through doors and windows, causing the heating system to go into overdrive. Caulk around doors and windows, install weather stripping and invest in energy efficient window treatments.
- Decks and Porches– Take care to winterize outdoor spaces and protect them from the elements. Store any chairs or other items that won’t be able to stand the snow, rain and wind. Also, by applying a water-repellent sealant to decks, porches and railings, it can protect them from the moisture.
- Roof, Gutters, and Drains– Roofs take a beating year round, and can become particularly damaged during winter storms. Take the time to have it inspected and repaired to limit damage this winter. Gutters and drains are essential to guiding water away from the home, preventing flooding. Give them a good cleaning, and make sure drains are positioned away from the house.
- Garage, Sheds and Storage– Attached garages that are uninsulated can let heat escape during the winter, increasing the energy bill. Weather stripping the garage door and the door leading inside can help with this. Storage areas need to be able to keep items dry so make sure their doors and windows seal properly, and clean any gutters the buildings might have.
Another essential item to check is the furnace. Make sure everything is in working order before the cold really sets in. Have Diamond Heating and Cooling service the furnace and check for problems.
Be Energy Efficient While on Vacation
Many people travel during the holidays to visit family or simply escape the cold for a while. Either way, they should prepare their home before leaving so that their electricity bill is lower when they return. Just because the lights will get turned on less doesn’t mean the bill will be that much lower. Try these tips to keep electricity usage down during vacation:
It can be tempting to just turn off the furnace, but to keep things from freezing, the thermostat should be set no lower than 50 degrees. If a pet is being left behind, homeowners should turn it up a bit to keep them comfortable.
2. Water Heater
Often neglected, the water heater can be turned off, either by shutting off the circuit breaker or gas valve. If homeowners are going to be away for an extended vacation they should put it on the lowest setting or the vacation setting if it has one.
3. Electronics and Appliances
Everything that is plugged into an outlet is using energy whether its power is turned on or off. Unplugging all of the nonessential items can drastically reduce the amount of energy being used. This includes televisions, coffee pots, lamps and more.
When only gone for a few days, leave it plugged in. When leaving for an extended vacation it can be cleaned out and unplugged. Since it is such an electricity hog, this is a good idea for those who will be gone for weeks or months. Clean it out and defrost it then set a box of baking soda in it or leave the door cracked open.
5. Blinds and Curtains
Lastly, use window coverings to conserve heat energy while away. By closing them before leaving, less heat will escape and they will keep the temperature from fluctuating as much.
If homeowners come home and discover their heating and cooling system is on the fritz, call Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can get everything back up and running in no time.
What To Do When the Furnace Stops Working
If the thermostat isn’t working properly, then the furnace won’t come on. Make sure it is set to heat. Check to see if your thermostat has a battery and if so, replace the battery and see if that fixes the problem. If the battery isn’t working properly it won’t send the right signals to the furnace.
Another common issue is a tripped circuit. Check to see if the electrical circuit for the furnace has been tripped, and if so, flip it back on. Mostly likely the furnace should kick right back on.
The furnace filter should be changed every three months, but sometimes it can be forgotten. Clogged filters can make it hard for air to get through, making it difficult for the furnace to heat the home. Change out the filter and see if that makes a difference.
- Intake and Vents
Vents need room to breathe so air can reach the furnace and heat can come out. Make sure nothing is covering them such as clothes, furniture and rugs.
If none of these things helps warm your home properly, it’s time to call in the professionals. Give Diamond Heating and Cooling a call to determine the problem and get it solved right away. They’re available 24/7 for furnace emergencies as well.
Benefits of a Whole-Home Humidifier
When people think of humidity, they think of sticky, wet, air and big, unmanageable hair. What they’re thinking of is too much humidity. When it is controlled, humidity can be very beneficial. Dry air can cause health issues such as dry skin and nose bleeds, especially during winter. To combat this, install a whole-home humidifier.
When cold, outdoor air is brought inside and heated, its relative humidity drops significantly causing the air to become dry. Dry air is not only uncomfortable, but can bring with it ailments and can increase the likelihood of people getting sick.
Low humidity can:
- Cause home damage such as cracking of the walls and hardwood floors
- Cause higher energy costs
Physically, low humidity can also cause:
- Bloody noses
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Increase the likelihood of getting colds, flus and other upper respiratory ailments
- Sore throats
- Cracked skin
A whole-home humidifier, can produce the perfect amount of humidity for the home and prevent the above mentioned issues caused by dry air. With a humidifier, people can set the thermostat slightly lower while still feeling warm and comfortable. Get a reprieve from dry air this winter with a whole-home humidifier installed by Diamond Heating and Cooling.
Rake Up Boise
This past weekend, as part of their Diamond Hugs Program for the month of November, the crew at Diamond Heating and Cooling participated in Rake Up Boise. This volunteer event prides itself on being the largest in Idaho and celebrated 30 years of volunteering.
Each fall, thousands of individuals get together to rake and winterize yards for those who cannot do the work themselves. Volunteers create a team of at least six and then get busy raking leaves and helping those who need it.
Diamond Heating and Cooling had a great time volunteering for the great community of Boise. Visit their Facebook page to see more photos of them hard at work!