Cleaning Up Your Ventilation System
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Cleaning Up Your Ventilation System

When I moved into my first place, I couldn't believe how dirty everything was all the time. I found myself dusting and mopping continuously, only to deal with a fresh layer of grime later. After awhile, I realized that the problem was blowing straight out of my air ducts. My ventilation lines were so dirty that it was spreading grime through my house every single time the air clicked on. Fortunately, I called an HVAC contractor who was able to clean my vents to a gleaming shine. I know how big of a difference cleaning up your ventilation system can make, which is why I want to spread the word.

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Cleaning Up Your Ventilation System

Three Tips For Keeping Your Energy Bill As Low As Possible This Winter

Rick Wells

If you live in an area with cold winters, and you have an electric heating system, you can expect your energy bill to increase during the winter. However, there are many things you can do to minimize just how high it gets. For example, turning your thermostat down can save you about one percent of your energy bill for each degree you lower it for more than eight hours. Wear warm clothes or use blankets instead. Learning tips and tricks such as this will help you to keep your energy bill from skyrocketing this winter. Here are three tips for keeping your energy bill low.

Have Your Ductwork Sealed

Ducts are tubes in your home that carry the heated air from your heater to your vents, helping to distribute this warm air evenly through your home. Unfortunately, over time, these ducts can develop holes in them, or begin to split at the seams. When this happens, the hot air that should be going to a vent escapes, failing to properly heat the rooms where you need the heat to go. Your heating device then produces more heat to heat the space, which uses more electricity. Sealing the ductwork can prevent this and save up to 17 percent on your heating bill. A heating repair contract can help you seal ductwork, or you can do it yourself with these steps:

  1. Pick up a roll of a high-heat duct installation tape available at a hardware store.
  2. Inspect your ductwork visually, looking for signs of holes or splitting at the seams. Cover holes and splitting seams with strips of the tape.
  3. Once you have covered any visible leaks, place your hand about an inch or two above and below the ducts and begin slowly moving it, following the ducts. While you should feel warmth, you should not feel any air blowing. If you do, there is a leak that isn't visible that needs to be sealed with the tape. Continue this process until you have fixed all of the leaks in your ductwork.

Have Your Heating Appliance Inspected and Repaired

Another way to keep your energy bill low this winter is to have your heating appliance serviced, cleaned and inspected. If there are any issues noted during the inspection, have them repaired. Having your heating appliance serviced, cleaned and inspected helps extend the lifespan of the unit, while ensuring it is functioning properly. If parts within the unit are not functioning properly, your heating appliance may be working harder or longer than it should to heat up your home, both of which drive your energy costs up.

Have Your Windows Recaulked

The last tip for keeping your energy bill as low as possible this winter is to have your windows recaulked, if needed. The easiest way to tell if the caulking on your windows is failing is to hold a piece of string or a lighted candle around the interior frame of your window on a breezy day. Move the string or candle around the entire rectangle shape. If you notice the string blowing or candle flickering, air is entering your home from outside through the gap between your window and window framework. This means the caulking is wearing. Follow these steps to recaulk windows yourself:

  1. Purchase a latex caulk designed specifically for windows and doors, as well as a caulking gun and caulk smoothing tool, if you don't own them.
  2. Use a putty knife or utility knife to scrape away as much of the old caulk as possible. This gives you a smooth, even surface to work with. Use soapy water to wipe away excess caulk and residue.
  3. Place your caulk in the gun. Starting at the top of the window, push the handle of the gun inward slowly to allow the caulk to come out. Apply as much pressure as you need to get a steady stream of caulk flowing. As the caulk begins to come out, move the gun downward along the edge of the window to create an even line of caulk. Run your caulk smoothing tool over the line of caulk to smooth it our and ensure it is completely in the gap.
  4. Repeat this process on every side of the window you are recaulking.

Having your ductwork sealed, having your heating appliance inspected, cleaned and repaired and having your windows examined and recaulked are all great ways to decrease your energy usage this winter. This can help prevent you from paying more than you need to to keep your home warm. To contact an HVAC company for cleaning and repairs, check out a site like http://www.capefearair.com.


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