February & March Tips for Optimum Heating and Care from Virginia Air Heating & Cooling
February and March in Virginia is an up and down experience in weather conditions and temperatures. One day the temperature reaches 50 degrees and the next day it drops to 26 degrees. Virginia Air Heating & Cooling wants to highlight the most frequently asked questions during these months.
HOW DO I MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY OF MY HEATING SYSTEM?
Get Free Heat In
Wondering how to keep your house warm for free? Let the sunlight in during the day! Pull back your curtains and open your blinds. The warmth of the sun will warm up your home; it really is that simple!
Keep Warm Air In
One way to stay warm when it’s cold is to seal any leaks around windows and doors. This can be done with caulk or by purchasing and installing weather stripping. We’ve all heard that having upgraded windows and doors help tremendously but we find that attic insulation is neglected. Loose-fill insulation also known as blown-in insulation can compress over time leaving a void and reducing your R-value.
Maintain Humidity Levels
Humidity is very important to our health and our household like furnishings and flooring. This can require adding a humidifier(s) for the winter months as our heating system is heating our inside air which dries out our existing indoor air. The colder it gets outdoors, the longer our heat systems run thus the loss of humidity. Unless we are consistently introducing moisture, we cannot maintain the humidity we need. Water has more thermal mass than air which means it can store more heat. In the winter, this can equate to your heating system not have to run as long, lowering your heat setting to be comfortable, reducing static electricity and dust moving through the air.
How can I make sure my humidity level in my house is working properly?
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Ideally, a home should have a relative humidity of between 40 – 50%. During winter months, however, humidity can fall dramatically. This is because cold air can’t hold as much water vapor as warm air. The colder the air, the less water it will hold. Therefore, during cold winter months, air leaking into your house from the outside will be very dry. (https://glutenfreehomestead.com/2015/12/stay-healthy-this-winter-how-to-increase-humidity-in-your-home/)
If you are exposed too long to excessively dry air, the mucous membranes of your respiratory tract might become impaired, thus raising your risk of colds, the flu, and other infections.
How to Beat Static Electricity:
Buy a Humidifier
Here’s why humidity matters. In the summertime, there is enough humidity in the air to help electrons flow off of your body. This prevents you from building up a charge. In dry winters with less humidity in the air, your body will inevitably build up a larger charge. Humid air is a better conductor of electricity than dry air.
During a charge imbalance, when one body is more positively or negatively charged than another body, the electrons leap at the chance to restore the “neutral charge equilibrium.” This is why when you touch metal it seems like your skin is electrically charged — because it is! The electrons are flowing from you into the object you’re touching, thus producing the shock. They’re no longer static — they jumped!
A whole-home humidification system or the purchase of a stand-alone humidifier to target a specific room will help to reduce static electricity in the air. You’ll want to keep your space above 30%-50% relative humidity for the best anti-static results. (https://happyhiller.com/blog/how-to-reduce-static-electricity-at-home/)
Controlling your indoor humidity is more important than most might think. Having humidity that is too low could result in something as mild as dry skin to something as major as an increased susceptibility to infections and illnesses. Low humidity levels can also cause wood floors and furniture to become damaged. In contrast, high humidity levels can cause mold to grow rapidly and even warp wooden features in the home. High humidity can also cause discomfort and create muggy and sticky indoor conditions.
If you feel that you might need an adjustment in your humidity levels or need some advice on how to make your indoor climate more comfortable, Contact Virginia Air Heating & Cooling
What should I do in my house to make sure that my heating system is running properly?
1) Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating.
2) Change your HVAC Air Filter A dirty air filter will not only prevent you from getting the most out of your HVAC system resulting in higher energy consumption, but can also create costly mechanical repairs. The same air your system is pulling in to heat or cool is the same air that cools your system’s motors and mechanical working parts. Replacing your HVAC filter not only helps your unit perform better, but can ultimately keep repair costs down. We all like a savings! On top of costs, a clean filter(s) also improves your home’s indoor air quality that can be extremely important for our health!
3) Schedule your Maintenance A visit from your HVAC technician can accomplish end of winter maintenance tasks too. In addition to the tasks above, our professionals perform a more in-depth checklist. Some of the procedures include: checking the heat anticipator settings, monitoring voltage and amperage, inspecting the cooling coil and much more. Check out our maintenance plan through our Home Comfort Club HERE.