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The Holiday Season in Western New York is the most wonderful, and cold, time of the year. With plenty of family gatherings going on this winter, it’s important your heating system is working properly. Continue reading to learn tips for keeping your system operating at maximum efficiency, so your home is cozy, warm, and ready for the Holidays.

  1. Change your Filter – People often don’t think about changing out the filter for their furnace. It is a forgotten about task that can end up being quite costly. Here’s why: when you don’t regularly change your filter, it collects dust and air gets clogged. Due to this, your furnace has to work much harder to pull the air through, which results in higher cost of energy and lost comfort. By regularly changing your filter every 1-3 months, your heating system will be able to operate more efficiently, which will save you tons of money in the long run. Plus, your home will be warmer since the air will no longer be blocked by a dusty clogged filter.
  2. System Checkup by a Skilled Technician – Ideally, it is better to get a furnace tune-up before the snow comes. But, it’s better late than never. Expecting your system to run smoothly with no problems all winter long is unrealistic. Just like a car needing regular maintenance to avoid breakdowns, your heating system is the same way. A skilled technician will be able to assist and repair any problems your system may be encountering. If your system is outdated and run down, a new heating system installation may be necessary so your system doesn’t break down in the middle of winter.
  3. Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat – Programmable thermostats have several advantages. They allow you to save energy due to their capability to match the heating and cooling output to the demands of your home. For instance, when no one is home, the system will run less in order to reduce the load on the furnace. They are very easy to navigate and allow you to regulate the temperature you want your home set to at any moment. 
        • Smart Thermostat – A smart thermostat is more intuitive than a programmable thermostat when it comes to heating / cooling your home. These Wi-Fi enabled thermostats can be manipulated via an app on your smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. These are extremely convenient for their ability to adjust your home’s temperature from wherever you may be. Whether you’re at work and want to turn up the heat so it’s warm when you get home, or heading to the airport and want to turn the thermostat down when you’re away to save money – this is all possible through the click of a button. Many smart thermostats actually pick up on patterns of your schedule and begin to mimic the behavior of your lifestyle by automatically setting optimal temperatures to minimize energy consumption. One way smart thermostats can do this is by figuring out when nobody is home, most commonly with motion sensors or by checking your phone’s location, aka geofencing. When the thermostat detects the house is empty, it will then switch to an energy saving-mode. Now that it’s winter, the thermostat  will turn the heat down. Although it is easy to adjust your home’s temperature yourself, people are forgetful and live busy lives. Smart devices automatically do this for you so you don’t have to worry about it. The device also kicks into an energy-saving mode when you’re asleep in order to avoid unnecessarily wasting heat. Due to their ability to conserve energy and accommodate to your busy schedule, smart thermostats can save up to 23% on your home’s energy bills [Link w/ source]. With the rise of natural gas prices and concern of high heating bills this winter, a smart thermostat is certainly an investment worth considering.
  1. Use Blinds / Curtains for your Windows – By closing your window blinds and curtains at night, you can keep cold air from seeping through your windows, which will keep your home warmer. During the day when the sun is shining, open up the blinds/curtains and let the sunlight in. This will help assist your furnace from doing all of the heavy lifting in heating up your home.
  1. Fireplace Safety – Nothing says the Holidays more than gathering around the fireplace with family, friends, and hot chocolate. Fireplaces are great for their ability to provide heat and coziness to your home. Make sure that the fireplace is clear and there is no furniture, decorations, or anything flammable nearby. Also, it is a good idea to have the fireplace swept and cleaned beforehand. Lastly, when you are done using the fireplace, close the fireplace damper tightly. Leaving it open makes it easy for warm air to escape through your chimney.

The Holidays are a wonderful time of year, especially when you can enjoy it in a warm cozy home filled with family and friends.  Our skilled technicians at John Lock Heating and Cooling can help repair or replace your heating system – don’t wait before it’s too late! Call us today at 716-894-6400.  

Sources: https://www.consumerreports.org/appliances/thermostats/are-smart-thermostats-worth-it-a7822875275/ 

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