It’s that time of year again, and we are left to wonder how accurate Punxsutawney Phil’s weather prediction will be for the next six weeks.
The first Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania was February 2, 1887. Predicting the length of winter based upon whether or not an animal saw its shadow was nothing new to the German immigrants who settled Pennsylvania, although in the old country they relied more often on badgers and bears (I can only imagine the brave souls who would sneak up on bears in the winter, haha).
Now that Phil has promised us six more weeks of winter (thanks, Phil), should you be worried about your HVAC system holding out for another two months? Not if you follow these tips!
Change your air filter regularly
- Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool, which wastes energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
- Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort
Install a programmable thermostat
- A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts
- Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent and sometimes much more.
- Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.
Should you replace your current system with a new HVAC system? If this sounds like your current rig, you may want to consider it:
Your heating and cooling (e.g., furnace, boiler, central air conditioning) or hot water equipment is more than 20 years old
There are rooms in your home that never seem to be warm enough in the winter or cool enough during the summer, or there’s a lot of humidity or excessive dust in your home
- Your utility bills seem to be a lot higher than usual, all of a sudden
If you feel like your HVAC system could use an update or replacement, call Feldkamp Enterprises today for a free estimate! There is no reason to be afraid of the groundhog’s shadow when you have Cincinnati’s complete mechanical contractors on your side!