Winter is here, snow is perpetually in the forecast and every morning many of us have to break out the ice scraper before heading to the office. While Exxel Mechanical Services customers have warm, cozy homes thanks to our quality heating maintenance, installation and repair services, many also want to maximize their energy savings. The best way to get the most from your heating system this winter is by taking the time to winterize your home.

1.    Fill Up Cracks and Holes

Take a walk around the exterior of your home and look for cracks, holes and open seams. These are commonly found around windows, doors, where the siding overlaps the foundation and hose bibs. These small cracks can allow cold air into the home and lead to drafts. Filling them in with expanding foam sealant or good quality caulk can plug up the hole, prevent pests from entering your home and keep cold air out.

2.    Replace the Weather Stripping

Check the weather stripping around each exterior door at your house to see that it is intact and in good condition. If you do not annually check the weather stripping, there’s a good chance that it will be missing entirely, ripped, crushed or damaged. To winterize your home, you should replace the weather stripping. Once you do this, close the door and take a look under it. If you can see light from the outside coming in, you should plan on installing a door sweep or raising the threshold to stop cold winter air from creeping inside.

3.    Change the Furnace Filter

During the winter when your furnace sees a lot of use, you should plan on changing the furnace filter every two months, especially if you have pets or are working from home. A dirty and clogged furnace filter prevents proper airflow and makes your furnace work harder to heat your home. If you are not sure how to change your filter, ask your technician from Exxel Mechanical Services during your pre-winter preventative maintenance visit to winterize your home and HVAC system.

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4.    Use a Programmable Thermostat

Most of us keep regular schedules and start work, exercise, leave the house, eat meals and do other tasks at the same time every day. If your family has a regular schedule, a programmable thermostat is a wonderful way to winterize your home and avoid wasting energy. Every day, you can program the thermostat to change temperatures at different times of day based on activities. If everyone leaves the house by 9:30 in the morning, you can have it turn down to a lower temperature for the workday. If the first person home arrives at 4:30, you can schedule the heat to turn on at 4:00 so it will be warm by the time they get home. Many programmable thermostats also have vacation and weekend settings to give you plenty of options.

5.    Install Electrical Outlet Gaskets

Take a moment to place your hand near each of the electric outlets in your home. Does it feel colder? A surprising amount of chilly air can enter the home through the area around electrical outlets. Foam-rubber outlet gaskets are very affordable and easy to install. They can rapidly seal up the drafty area and winterize your home.

6.    Use an HVAC Maintenance Plan

One of the best investments that you can make as you winterize your home is an HVAC maintenance plan. Exxel Mechanical Services offers exclusive maintenance agreements that can provide regular care for your heat pump, boiler, air conditioning system, furnace and other HVAC system components. We have two different plans depending on your specific needs.

Silver Plan

Our silver plan includes:

  • Annual inspection of your HVAC system
  • Thorough assessment of your existing equipment with suggested repairs or improvements to increase energy efficiency and system longevity
  • Waived diagnostic fees for issues with your system in between your service visits
  • 25% discount on repair services

This plan is perfect for homeowners with HVAC systems that are between two and eight years old.

Gold Plan

Our gold maintenance package is packed with the same great features of the silver plan, but it adds additional protection. The gold plan includes:

  • Annual inspection of your HVAC system
  • Thorough assessment of your existing equipment with suggested repairs or improvements to increase energy efficiency and system longevity
  • Waived diagnostic fees for issues with your system in between your service visits
  • Free labor and component costs
  • 25% discount on repair services (for exempt parts)

7.    Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes

Insulating your hot water pipes prevents heat loss and saves on your energy bills. Adding pipe insulation will keep water inside of your pipes hot so that the water heater and boiler do not need to use extra energy to heat the water. By adding insulation, you will also be able to enjoy hot water the moment that you turn on the shower or faucet instead of waiting. You can purchase insulated wraps to place around the pipes or foam-rubber sleeves that can be slipped on the pipe depending on your budget and the location of the pipes.

8.    Test Your Detectors

Finally, you should always make testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors part of your annual routine to winterize your home. Residential fires are most common during the winter months, so having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with fresh batteries is critical to protect your family.

7.    Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes

Insulating your hot water pipes prevents heat loss and saves on your energy bills. Adding pipe insulation will keep water inside of your pipes hot so that the water heater and boiler do not need to use extra energy to heat the water. By adding insulation, you will also be able to enjoy hot water the moment that you turn on the shower or faucet instead of waiting. You can purchase insulated wraps to place around the pipes or foam-rubber sleeves that can be slipped on the pipe depending on your budget and the location of the pipes.

8.    Test Your Detectors

Finally, you should always make testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors part of your annual routine to winterize your home. Residential fires are most common during the winter months, so having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with fresh batteries is critical to protect your family.

Winterize Your Home with Help from Exxel Mechanical Services

Exxel Mechanical Services is here to support all of our residential and commercial clients and keep their HVAC systems in excellent condition. We are always available to help assess your system, provide you with a free quote or come out to restore your heat or air conditioning in the event of an emergency. To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 443-821-1040 or email us at bob@exxelmechanical.com. We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.