With the end of the year around the corner, it’s no surprise that these colder months, no matter where you live, tend to be the time to turn up the heat and stay inside. However, it’s also the perfect time to conduct some maintenance on your heating and cooling systems throughout the home. Making small changes, even small renovations, can be the key to a healthy home, and will keep you and your family safe around the holidays.
Contract work tends to die down around September, so not only are renovations a great task for the colder months, you will likely find a more affordable quote for your projects in the winter. Often, this is the time you’ll be able to compare more offers before starting a renovation. Another benefit of winter home remodels is a faster turnaround time, as contractors tend to have fewer clients in the cooler months, and can truly focus on you and your home projects.
In most cases, a renovation comes when it makes sense for you, your home, and your family. However, internal projects such as updating your kitchen, adding a home office, or finishing the basement, can become big undertakings if your schedule doesn’t make time for them. But, if you’re stuck inside, it’s easy to go stir crazy. In fact, these projects can help you stay focused and on task through more dormant months.
Another benefit of renovating in colder months is comfortability in your home. It can be easy to assume that summer could be the best time to renovate your home, but the warmer months lead to more humidity and potentially more volatile conditions for renovating. The lack of humid weather actually makes it easier to clean messes, paint walls, and overall move through processes for quick fixes and last steps in your projects, especially if you plan on DIY-ing part of these.
It’s easy to assume that if your heating and cooling systems are running, they’re running both efficiently, and without any faults. After all, how often are you really taking a look at these things? It can seem like a big to-do, but without proper maintenance, and even just through aging, these systems have to eventually be replaced to keep your home running smoothly, and your home safe.
One of the big reasons people choose to update these systems is for efficiency, and more specifically, for financial reasons. If your HVAC isn’t working at its best, you’re likely spending way too much money on your energy bills. Even if your home is well sealed and air locked against disasters, old systems use more energy to run efficiently. Pair an old system with the rising energy costs across the country and your heating bill could begin to swell even more.
If you’re not sure if replacing your HVAC or simply doing maintenance on these systems is right for you, at Lee’s Air, Plumbing, and Heating, you can join our HVAC Membership to make sure that you’re getting regular maintenance, and an eye on these areas should they potentially go awry.
Even though humidity may not be an issue in the colder months, a proper HVAC system is important for humidity levels to even be monitored. Without proper maintenance, this can actually affect not just humidity, but air quality in your home all year round. In fact, air quality is something you should definitely think about when updating your HVAC system– the air in your home can directly affect your health. As particles, pests, and other toxins can work their way through your heating and cooling systems, causing health concerns and potential life-long illnesses for you and your family.
On the topic of air quality, it’s important to think about how these renovations and updates can be dangerous if not working with professionals. Lee’s Air, Plumbing, and Heating offers air conditioning installation, along with other areas to make these projects smoother. While enlisting expert help is a great way to avoid potential hazards, you need to take ownership of the project too. Before starting any renovations or new installations, gather critical details about your home, such as:
- When and how your home was built and the square footage of the home
- The last time the HVAC unit was inspected
- Current allergies your family may have
- What your budget will be
Some common hazards include, but aren’t necessarily limited to: dust and allergens from a renovation, asbestos found in pipe insulation, pests near and around your HVAC systems (both internally and externally), and contaminants in the air. Each of these issues can lead to health concerns down the road if not addressed the next time you service your HVAC system. All three can all get into your ducts and be circulated throughout your home for your family to breathe in. Health concerns from these hazards range from minor allergies, to more detrimental illnesses like cancer or respiratory diseases.
Working with an inspector alongside a contractor for projects can both help your project run more smoothly, and get you a list of areas in the home that may need extra attention. Using the help of professionals will ensure that any hazard is removed from your HVAC system in a safe and efficient manner.
It may seem simple enough that working with a contractor or a specialist can help you solve all your HVAC replacement and renovation needs. However, it’s important that you keep in mind that there are plenty of other hazards to be aware of, and precautions to take before starting a project.
While starting a project when you and your home are ready for it, it’s vital to do inspections, check the area, and ensure that you’ll still be able to live in your home during the process if you so choose. Financing is also a huge part of this process, so making sure your budget allows for these changes is key too! For your convenience, we offer financing options at Lee’s Air, Plumbing, and Heating, but all of this can’t happen without an assessment. It’s important to get those inspections done ahead of time to avoid further obstacles down the road.
If you aren’t sure if you need an inspection: get one. An HVAC system can last up to 15 years or so, and if you’re unaware of how old the system was when you bought your existing home, definitely consider this before starting any replacement project. Even then, your HVAC system makes up nearly half of your energy bill, so frequent maintenance can keep your current system running smoothly, or guide you to the right time to replace it. Inspections for your home HVAC should take place at least once a year to guarantee your home is running efficiently.
Another small tip is to focus on ways you and your family can reduce your energy usage to avoid regular maintenance. Using your washing machine or dishwasher at night when energy is less expensive can help lower costs, and reducing the use of heat outside of your heating system can help keep your home more energy efficient. Consider an extra blanket or warm socks if there’s a day of record lows instead of upping the heat. Or, in the opposite direction, consider cooling off with cold drinks as opposed to running portable AC systems and fans. These small changes can impact your energy bill without having to replace an entire system, and can keep your HVAC running smoothly for longer.
Not every home is the same, and not every reason to replace an HVAC system is the same, either. Taking the necessary steps to ensure your home is running efficiently even in colder months can help keep you, your family, and your home safe. Don’t be afraid to get an inspection if you’re unsure, or implement new tricks that can help your home stay efficient while keeping you warm.