Winter season has come to Bend. Here’s some winter guide to winter-proof your Central Oregon Home
The winter months may bring the promise of a silent night overnight snowfall, a fancy, leafless trees covered in a white blanket knit from snowflakes, a bracing jolt of crisp, cold air.
But you also probably shiver when you receive your winter heating bills.
However, there are various ways you can do to winterize your Central Oregon home using this Winter Guide.
Here are easy and cost-effective ways to keep the cold out, and let the heat in, and your energy bill down this cold season with this winter guide.
1. Change Furnace Filters
Yes, it’s easy to forget, but it’s essential to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during heating season.
Dusty and dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Here’s a stress-saving tip: Mark a monthly check on your calendar.
Also, consider switching to a permanent filter, which will reduce waste and hassle.
An excellent choice is the genuine HEPA filter, which can remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles and it also complies with the Department of Energy standards.
But, avoid “HEPA-like” filters, which can be significantly less efficient.
2. Winterize your A/C and Water Lines
This one is quick and simple to do, and it will even save you a few money next summer.
Just drain your air conditioner pipe and any hoses inside and outside of your home, and ensure that you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment.
If your air conditioner has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off.
After draining all your hoses, make sure to stow them away neatly. Don’t forget to turn off exterior water spigots.
It’s also a great idea to seal any water leaks around your Bend home, and remember to remove any window air conditioner units and store them, so you don’t have to deal with cold draft all winter.
3. Turn Down Your Water Heater
While most conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by installers, most households don’t need that much steam and end paying for it — whether in dollars or occasional scalding burn.
Setting the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) would reduce your Bend water heating costs by 6-10 percent.
If you want to replace your tank water heater, consider switching to a tankless water heater or go solar. This switch will save you money in a long run.
4. Dodge the Drafts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5-30% of your energy use. Begin simple and adopt that old Great Depression fixture — the draft snake, which you can quickly create yourself.
Just put a rolled bath towel under a drafty door, or you can also use any scraps of fabric, even neckties, and fill with sand or kitty litter for heft. Also, make sure draft isn’t giving your thermostat an incorrect reading, too.
5. Give your Heating System a Tune-Up
Keeping your furnace clean, checked, and well adjusted will decrease energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
The good news is most utilities offer free seasonal checkups by licensed and qualified technicians — but you have to call early, as HVAC crews get backed up once heating season starts.
Also, consider replacing your old inefficient furnace with a new one as it will save you money every month through Bend heating season.
6. Mind that Thermostat
Turning down the heat when you leave the house is the surest way to save money. Many Bend homes spend 50-70% of their energy budget on heating and cooling, so why pay when no one uses?
Remember that for every degree you lower the thermostat during this winter season, you’ll save between 1-3% of your heating bill. Make it simpler for you by installing a smart or programmable thermostat.
7. Use Caulking and Weatherstripping
Caulk and weatherstripping are effective methods to seal leaks.
Window frames are often the source of drafts, as is anywhere that two materials meet, such as around the chimney, in corners where the pipes exit the house, and around the foundation.
You can test for leaks yourself by walking around on a chilly night and feeling where the cold air gets in or using the incense test.
The incense test requires turning off any fans, lighting a stick of incense, and running it near potential leaks. If the smoke wavers, there’s a breeze, you need to caulk or weather strip around the frame.
8. Run Fans in Reverse
Most people use fans only when they want to be cool, but most ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the course of the blades.
Counterclockwise rotation creates cooling breezes while changing it to clockwise makes it warmer.
9. Boost Insulation
Insulating your Bend home is one of the best ways to save energy and money during the winter season.
It can make a huge difference to add more insulation between walls and ensure your attic floor, and basement ceiling are well covered.
10. Insulate Your Pipes
Insulate your pipes to reduce your heating bills. This method can also help decrease the possibility of freezing and bursting pipes, which can be a disastrous plumbing nightmare.
Verify to see if your plumbing pipes are warm to touch. If so, they are good candidates for insulation. You can also use this method to your hot water heater.
11. Upgrade to an Efficient Furnace
Luckily, it’s not something you have to do every year, but if your furnace is old, you could save lots of money in the long run, and improve your home’s value by upgrading to a new system.
Get an Energy Star-certified furnace, and you’ll save 15-20% versus standard new models.
If you have any concerns regarding this winter guide or your plumbing, water heater, or heating and cooling in your Bend home, then call Einstein Pros at (888) 671-7767 or email [email protected].
Our services stretch through Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. We repair, service, replace, and install all plumbing parts and systems, as well as, water heaters, sump pumps, HVAC, and more!
Contact us for more information about our fast and reliable plumbing repair services today.