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Preparing for winter is a good idea, even in warm and sunny Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Doing so can save money, help the environment and make your family more comfortable. You should winterize your home and HVAC system by adjusting your ceiling fans, checking your insulation, updating your landscaping, and having your heater checked by an expert.

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool in summer, and you can also use most models in winter as well. They turn counterclockwise and push air towards your floors in warm weather. You can change the direction to clockwise by flipping a small switch near the center of each fan.

Instead of creating a breeze, your ceiling fans will pull cool air toward the ceiling and move warmer air toward the floor. As a result, people in your home will feel warmer. You also won’t need to use your HVAC system as much. Save additional energy by turning fans off in unoccupied rooms.

Check Your Insulation

Many types of insulation lose their effectiveness over time. You could also get water damage or holes from pests. Replacing damaged insulation or adding more will help you save energy and prevent drafts. It can be a significant investment, but the lower utility bills are worth it.

Before the weather starts to get chilly, check the insulation in your attic or basement for gaps or dark spots from biological growth. Turn off your HVAC system and carry a piece of string or a candle around your home. Hold it near your walls, windows and doors. If the string moves or the candle flickers, you likely have a leak or gap in the insulation nearby.

Add weather stripping on the bottoms of doors and windows. Caulking around electrical outlets can save energy, too.

Update Your Landscaping

Improving your landscaping can make your yard beautiful and increase the value of your home. Plant shrubs near your house to block wind and provide insulation. Deciduous trees provide shade in summer, and they lose their leaves in late fall, letting the sun reach you in winter. You can also use fencing to block cold winds.

An awning over your outdoor HVAC system will provide extra shade in summer and protect it from debris like leaves, grass clippings and twigs. Keep plants around your outdoor unit trimmed for optimal airflow. Build a storage shed for equipment like lawnmowers, fuel, cleaners and pesticides. That way, you won’t have to worry about cleaners and chemicals leaking and impacting your indoor air quality.

Have Your Heater Checked

Before you start using it in fall, have your heater checked by a professional. That way, you can catch and repair any problems before they make your family miserable. When you pay your utility bill, compare it to your statement from the same time last year. If you’re spending a lot more, you could have a refrigerant leak, a malfunctioning thermostat, or another problem that might waste energy and shorten your system’s life.

You should also contact an expert if you notice bad smells, strange noises or uncomfortable areas in your home. Change your HVAC system’s air filter once per month for the best airflow and indoor air quality. Otherwise, contaminants like pollen, dirt and dust could cause health issues.

Ocean State Air Conditioning & Heating is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 40 years of heating and cooling experience. Our installation, repair, and maintenance departments specialize in residential and light commercial work, and we offer a variety of quality equipment. Call us anytime at 904-222-8411 for honest, reliable service. We’re here to help you stay comfortable through the fall and winter.

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