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applying caulk

As wintertime approaches in Georgia, you might be wondering what you can do to winterize your Marietta home to keep those utility bills down by making it more energy efficient. There are some easy projects you can do around the house that make a big difference.

Clean Vents and Change HVAC Filter for Improved Energy Efficiency

One key to running an energy-efficient HVAC system is to keep it clean, and that includes the airways. Change the air filter monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer. Vacuum the air return register and vents regularly. Make sure nothing obstructs these airways.

Close the Chimney

If you have a fireplace, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. Leaving it open during cold weather is the equivalent of leaving a window wide open, which forces the HVAC to churn out more heat that finds its way outdoors.

If the damper isn’t sealing shut properly, you can buy an inexpensive insulation board that you can cut to fit and seal the fireplace’s opening — just make sure you add a handle for easy removal. Another option is to insert and inflate a specially designed chimney balloon inside the flue to create a seal, which you can find at a home supply store.

Seal Leaks for Air Tightness

Over time, gaps form along windows and doors. Caulk dries out, and weatherstripping deteriorates. Perform a visual inspection on all windows and doors and replace all caulk, and weatherstripping as necessary. These tiny air passageways are just as harmful to your energy usage as leaving a window open all day.

Take this another step further by using the smoke test. Close all windows and doors and turn off all fans and the HVAC. Burn an incense stick and waft the smoke around each window and door. Look for air currents in the smoke that indicate still-present air leaks, which you can then seal.

Get the most energy efficiency out of your HVAC by scheduling seasonal preventative maintenance with E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at 678-369-8866.

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