The short, cold days of winter often result in families spending more time hunkered down in the basement. Winter can be a great time for family bonding indoors, and Wyckoff Heating & Cooling has some helpful tips to keep your family warm and your energy bills down this season.

  1. Seal windows, walls and doors. Your furnace is working overtime during the winter months to produce warm air for your home. Do your part to keep warm air from escaping by sealing gaps and cracks on outside walls, weatherstripping your walkout door, if applicable, and sealing doors to any unheated utility or storage rooms in the basement. As a general rule of thumb, caulk is best for cracks ¼-inch or less wide, while spray foam insulation can be utilized for gaps up to three inches.
  1. Update windows. Single-pane basement windows should be upgraded to dual-pane, Energy Star® certified windows. You may also wish to add storm windows for additional insulation. If you need to make it through another year with your current windows, be sure to winterize both internally and externally. Seal the windows outside with caulking, and utilize an insulation kit to keep warm air in.
  1. Insulate from the elements. Insulation can be one of the quickest, most efficient ways to reduce heating costs and improve home comfort. A variety of insulation types are available. Fiberglass is a great option for unfinished basements, while foam or blow-in products are preferred for finished space. Basement walls are typically covered with wood framing for adding drywall or paneling. This creates an opportunity to add insulation into that framing.  Be sure to review R-Value, or thermal performance, of the insulation product prior to purchasing. Remember, insulation has numerous benefits, including keeping the living areas above your basement warm as well.
  1. Add carpet or rugs. Flooring in basements often consists of cement or tile-coverings. If you are able to consider carpet installation, it will make the floor feel warmer and cozier throughout the winter months. Rugs can provide the same effect in laundry rooms or areas where you may experience moisture issues.
  1. Add a vent. While it won’t reduce your energy bill, tapping into existing ductwork and installing a vent can add central heating to your basement, making it more comfortable. 
  1. Utilize space heating or an electric fireplace. Electric space heaters are a great way to add supplemental heat in smaller areas, such as a laundry room or work room. For a finished space, the benefits of an electric fireplace insert are endless. Mobile, ecofriendly and affordable, electric fireplaces do not emit pollutants nor add a safety hazard to your home. Plus, you can turn off your fireplace with the click of a button.
  1. Take advantage of rebates. Check with your energy service provider. Many offer programs and rebates to help offset the initial cost of energy-efficient equipment and materials. These programs will help you save money on your energy bill, improve the comfort of your home and help your family go green.
  1. Schedule a service check. An on-site assessment of your home is a great place to start figuring out where you can save energy, while improving your home comfort. Our skilled technicians at Wyckoff can help analyze features of your home to save you money in the long run.

Other important factors to consider this winter are whether or not you need a humidifier and making sure you are using the right size filter & changing it frequently.

For more information on HVAC systems or questions regarding our services, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (515) 287-6000.