It’s officially fall here in the Pittsburgh area. The leaves are starting to change, the days are now getting shorter, and the scent of pumpkin spice, well, everything has been in the air for a couple of weeks already! It’s also that time of year where we may be alternating between the A/C and the furnace throughout the week. (Oh, heck – sometimes even the same day!)  Keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient all fall long by making these smart and simple energy-saving improvements.

Keep your heating system in good working order

Fall is the perfect time for a seasonal HVAC maintenance check. An inspection and tune-up by a trusted and certified HVAC professional will ensure your heating system is clean, that all the parts are in good shape, and it’s operating at maximum efficiency. Another smart reason to schedule your maintenance check now is that you’ll detect any small problems before winter sets in. Small problems often turn into big problems, so make sure you’re in good working order before the winter chill sets in. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of a January night in need of an emergency appointment because your family is freezing in their beds! Give us a call at Arendosh Heating & Cooling and schedule your fall HVAC maintenance check today.

Use a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat helps your family stay both energy-efficient and comfortable day and night. For maximum efficiency, we recommend setting your thermostat as low as is comfortable when you are at home and awake. During times you’re asleep or out of the house, if you dial the thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours, you’ll likely save at least 10% a year on your utility bill!

Check your windows and doors for air leaks

Keep the cold air out and the heated air in by making sure you have no leaks around your windows and doors. If you find cracks, fill them with caulk. To further insulate your home, think about investing in window insulation film, which is a plastic shrink film you apply to the indoor frame using double-sided tape. Heavy fabric curtains, as well as door and window snakes, also keep the outdoor air at bay. Finally, replace worn or insufficient weather stripping to help preserve the barrier between the cold and your comfort.

Look for energy-savings in every room

It’s amazing how many little ways there are to save energy around your home if you just do a bit of research. Adopt a policy at home where everyone gets into the habit of turning lights off every time they leave a room. If one or more members of your family tend to forget, appoint one of the kids to be the “energy czar” who reminds others or make kind of a game of it. Installing light dimmers and switch out regular florescent bulbs for CFL or LED bulbs, which use 75% less electricity.

If you have a fireplace, remember to keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning. When the damper is open, it’s like keeping a window wide open during the winter – your heated air gets sucked right up and out of the chimney. (It’s like floating dollar bills out the chimney!)

Finally, as your water heater accounts for as much as 18% of the energy consumed in your home, turn it down to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy; you’ll avoid scalding your hands.

Take advantage of the heat from the sun

On chilly days, fling open those curtains – especially if they’re the heavy, insulated kind – to take advantage of free light and heat from the sun! When the sun is up, capture as much of that heat as possible. Even when it’s cold outside, the shining sun will still warm things up inside. So, before you leave the house for the day, throw those curtains open and let the sunshine in. But don’t open the curtains in any parts of the house that don’t get direct sunlight at some point during the day. Once the sun goes down, close those curtains again to keep all that free heat inside.

Enjoy the Season

Don’t forget to enjoy the fall and all its special comforts. Take in the beauty of the leaves changing, treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte or a hot apple cider, and make s’mores over a fire. And get some additional warmth (literally and figuratively!) by cozying up with your family and pets under a fleece blanket. (Matching flannel PJs are optional.)

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