11% 'Home Improvement
Ready For The Freeze
Is your home's heating system ready for cool weather?
n cool weather, wise homeowners will
take steps to ensure their homes are
well-prepared. There are a number of
ways you can keep your home comfortable
and your energy bills in check all season.
Is your heating equipment working opti-
mally or are you wasting energy and paying
more than you should?
It is estimated that nearly half of all heat-
ing and cooling equipment in U.S. homes
never performs to its advertised capacity
and efficiency due to incorrect installation,
according to U.S. government statistics. And
if you have an older system that was built
before current efficiency standards, you
could be spending more than needed on
heating your home.
If you need to replace your system, be
sure to have it properly installed by an HVAC
professional, certified by North American
Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation's
largest independent, nonprofit certification
body for HVACR technicians. NATE-certified
technicians are skilled professionals who have
proven their knowledge in the HVACR industry
by passing specialized certification tests.
Beyond having an efficient heating system
properly installed, there are several other
steps you can take to make your home cool-
• Clean heating filters. Check them every
couple of weeks and change them at least
twice in the season, or as directed by the
• Check and maintain insulation. Improperly
insulated walls, floors, attics, basements
and crawlspaces drain away heat and can
also lead to moisture imbalance. Add-
ing weather stripping and caulk around
windows and doors can also improve a
• Turn down the thermostat or install a
programmable thermostat to regulate
• Clean the furnace area. Don't keep chemi-
cals or cleaning products near a heater,
and don't store anything next to it that
could impede ventilation.
Keep vents and returns free of obstruc-
tions. Don't lay carpet over ventsor
obstruct the flow of air.
Dry air feels cooler than moist air, so in-
stall a humidifier. A simple humidifier may
make the home feel five degrees warmer
than a home with dry air.
Look into geothermal heating systems.
By using the Earth's natural heat, these
systems are among the most efficient and
energy-conserving heating and cooling
technologies currently available.
Have your system serviced regularly for
optimal performance. To avoid poor ser-
vice and scams, be sure to hire an HVACR
professional certified by NATE. To find a
qualified local contractor who employs
certified technicians, look for the NATE
logo or go to HVACRAdvice.com .
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181 Floor Space Magazine • November 2013