Well, Winter is officially here and in full swing. At Black Hills Heating and Air Conditioning, we aim to provide our customers with the absolute best service and products, in addition to helping you save money on heating and cooling costs. While we can completely reinstall a new heating systemfurnace, or hot water tank system (tankless or with tank), we also want you to be informed about ways to further prepare your home for winter and to reduce those monthly heating expenses.Take a look below for some wise tips on winterizing your home and if you have any questions at all about heating, furnaces, or staying comfortable throughout winter, call Black Hills Heating & Air Conditioning at (360) 558-3242!

1) Begin with a Furnace Inspection (If you have one)

Call the HVAC professionals at Black Hills Heating & Air Conditioning to inspect your furnace and clean your heating ducts. Black Hills Inc. will also be able to supply you with furnace filters and assist you in learning how to change them out on a monthly basis. The technicians may also be able to help you determine ideal programmable settings for your thermostat, so it’s not constantly fluctuating and using more energy. Lastly, the technicians at Black Hills Heating & Air Conditioning can instruct you in the proper way to bleed the valves (if you are using a hot-water radiator). If you’re using an alternate system, they’re more than happy to suggest tips and methods also.

2) Get your Fireplace Ready To Go (If you have one)

Double check that your chimney has a screen or cap to keep out insects or animals that are looking for a warm place to rest. If it’s been quite a while since you had your fireplace cleaned, it’s a good idea to work with a chimney sweep or to talk to Black Hills Heating & Air Conditioning about upgrading your heating system. Make sure you have plenty of wood readily available and in a dry place.

3) Scan the Entire Exterior of your Home, Checking for Cracks or Spaces around Pipes, Doors, or Windows

This can be one of the most important steps in ensuring that your home is properly heated for the winter. Even the smallest missed opening can be detrimental when trying to keep your home properly heated and keep the costs down. Weatherstripping on doors and windows is always a good idea, in addition to fixing any cracks or tears in your windows or shades.

4) Scan Your Roof and Gutters

If you live in a climate that regularly gets below freezing, you’ll want to ensure that your attic is properly insulated and not letting all of the warm air from your home escape. Also, ensuring your gutters are clean and functioning well will help prevent again the ice or debris buildup during storms. If you don’t live in a freezing climate, it’s still a great idea to do all these things, to ensure that the roof of your home is not a weak point for maintaining a reasonable temperature.

5) Examine Weather-Susceptible Equipment

Double-checking devices with motors and working parts that need to perform throughout winter is always a great idea. If in a snowy climate, drain gas from equipment not in use and ensure all of your winter equipment is functioning properly. In addition, make sure to have weather-related tools (rakes, snow shovels, etc.) readily available in the event you need to clear a path or remove debris.

6) Examine the Foundations of Your Home

Seal all entry points in your foundation to resist animals and insects trying to enter and absorb the heat. It can also be wise to clear away any vegetation or obstructions from the foundation of the house, so there’s room to continually check the seal points.

7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Ask your Black Hills Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning representative to suggest an ideal location for a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/or water heater to ensure safety all winter long. Test all smoke/carbon detectors in your home to ensure functionality and also purchase or replace your fire extinguishers so you’re fully prepared.

8) Prepare Piping to Resist Freezing

Know the location of your main water pipe so you can shut off the water supply to your home if needed. Ensure that all garden hoses and lines are drained and won’t build up ice blockage. If any pipes are exposed around your house, ensure that they’re covered up to resist freezing. Remember, anything helps, even a small tarp. If possible, shut off the water supply to your air conditioner.

9) Prepare Outdoor Areas

Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires. Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.

10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

Always be ready for the worst! Make sure to have a light source, food, water, and back-up batteries or a power source.If you’ve got any questions about your heating system, furnace, or staying warm in the winter contact Black Hills Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning! (360) 558-3242