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Home Heating and Furnace Tips

"With winter just around the corner, now is the time to give your home a "check-up. " Here are six tips on what to look for and take care of so your home is ready for those cold north winds."

Six Tips to Get Your Home Ready For Winter

Website: http://www.aracontent.com/

(ARA) - With winter just around the corner, now is the time to give your home a "check-up. " Here are six tips on what to look for and take care of so your home is ready for those cold north winds.

1. Have your duct system tested for air leaks. Many think that windows and doors are the major cause of a home's air leaks. But according to recent research by the Department of Energy (DOE), gaps, cracks and disconnections in the typical home's duct system are much more significant. The DOE states that the typical duct system loses 25 percent to 40 percent of the energy put out by the central furnace, heat or air conditioner. Leaks are usually the biggest problem.

2. Ask your heating contractor to perform an Infiltrometer "blower door" test. The blower door is a computerized instrument originally invented by the Department of Energy. It pinpoints where your home's worst air leaks are, and also measures how leaky the overall house is. While most homes are still far too leaky, some are now quite tight, and need mechanical ventilation to ensure the air inside is fresh.

3. Have your heating system cleaned and tuned by a qualified contractor. A pre-season tune up and filter change is a good investment. It reduces the chances of breakdowns in the middle of winter, improves safety, and pays for itself through more energy efficient operation. "How To Identify a Good Heating and Cooling Contractor," a free report from the Comfort Institute, can help you choose a trained professional.

4. Have your system checked for carbon monoxide. A good contractor will also offer to test your system for hazardous carbon monoxide, which can be produced by a dirty or malfunctioning gas or oil furnace or water heater.

5. Install a low level carbon monoxide alarm. Every home should have at least one carbon monoxide alarm. However, alarms available from retail stores will not warn of hazardous chronic lower levels. More sensitive low level alarms are available from heating contractors. More information on carbon monoxide is available on the Comfort Institute's Web site.

6. Consider replacing your old furnace or heat pump. Just like a car, heating equipment doesn't last forever. If your system is more than 12 years old, and you are planning to stay in your home more than a few years, many authorities recommend considering replacing it before it fails permanently. A new system is safer, more dependable, and can pay for itself through energy savings as it is up to twice as energy efficient. However, recent research has found that many newly installed systems have energy wasting mistakes. Check out the free report "Tips and Secrets To Buying A New Heating and Cooling System" for more information.

You can access all of the reports mentioned above at www.comforinstitute.org

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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