With mild weather cutting your energy bills and a return to a full school or work schedule bringing summer vacations to an end, you probably have some extra money in your budget for some home improvement projects. With winter fast approaching, you might want to look for ways to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. By investing in ways to save money over the long term now, you’ll have more money later for a winter trip or that big remodeling project you’ve been wanting to take on.

Why Does My Home’s Air Feel Unhealthy?

Does your home’s air just not feel right? Maybe you feel lethargic or keep turning on your air conditioner or heater to try to freshen up your home? The problem may be that your home is so well-sealed to be energy efficient that the pollutants from cooking, cleaning chemicals and other daily activities aren’t escaping your home. Consider investing in indoor air quality products like air purifiers or ventilators.

If your home’s air is dirty, some of those pollutants may have gotten trapped inside of your air ducts. That means that even after your air passes through your air filter, it’s being dirtied again before it returns to your living areas. Schedule a duct cleaning if you haven’t had one in the last few years.

What’s the Biggest Cause of High Energy Bills?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating accounts for 42 percent of the average energy bill. This is an average, so heating or cooling costs in the middle of the winter or summer account for an even higher proportion of your bills during those times. With HVAC systems accounting for so much of your energy bill, even small improvements in efficiency can provide you with major savings. Scheduling HVAC maintenance during the fall and spring is a great way to ensure that your HVAC systems are running at maximum efficiency.

What Causes Drafts?

If you feel drafts, you shouldn’t just write it off as a discomfort that comes with having an older home. Drafts equal energy leaks, and they are easily fixable. Many drafts come in through your windows and doors, and these can be sealed with new weatherstripping or caulk. Other common sources of drafts include the attic entrance, recessed lights, electrical outlets, and gaps around plumbing fixtures. To find these drafts, feel around these areas on a windy day or when your HVAC system’s fan is running. Using an incense stick and watching for changes in direction in the smoke can also help you locate air leaks that need sealing.

For expert help to get your home ready for the winter, including HVAC maintenance and home repairs, contact All Seasons Service Network. We’ve been serving the Pensacola, Fla., area since 1967.