The Shreveport-Bossier area has it’s share of older homes. If you own one of them, chances are that staying warm can be surprisingly tricky. Some rooms may be cozy and warm while others seem colder. You may have the whole place comfortable, but your heating bills are abnormally high. Fortunately, there are several solutions that might work. Some of these require AirCare’s help, while others are simple do-it-yourself fixes.
Problem: Your heating and cooling system is outdated.
Solution: Repair or replace the system.
Deciding to repair or replace an HVAC system doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. AirCare’s certified HVAC technicians are able to give you expert advice, as well as help you to get the best value. Call us today to schedule a visit with one of our representatives. In the meantime, check out this handy guide from Goodman Manufacturing to help you to decide whether to repair or replace your AC and heating system.
Problem: Your house is cold no matter what you do.
Solution: Insulate ANYWHERE that you can.
If your heating system is working overtime but your house is still cold, then chances are the heat is escaping somewhere. The only cure for this is insulation, and lots of it. Start with attic insulation, because heat always rises. Foam insulation or pellet insulation can be added to your walls. If your home has the space to install insulation in the floor, that can be helpful for homes with raised foundations. Finally, don’t forget other parts of your house that can be insulated, such as investing in new doors or windows.
Not sure where to begin with insulating your old house? This chart from EnergyStar can tell you which R-Value is recommended for your location. Talk to a contractor before taking the plunge, as your old house might have older wiring, plaster walls, or other features that necessitate insulation work by a professional.
Problem: There is absolutely no room for a new heating system.
Solution: Ask about our compact systems.
Many older homes are built with very little room, including no closets to speak of and tight doorways. In a home where space is a premium, putting in ductwork can be impossible. Mini-split Systems do not require ducts, they are compact, operate quietly and are energy efficient.
In the meantime, work with the heating options you already have. For instance, the outdated system might need to be upgraded in order to gain efficiency. If you have fireplaces, get in touch with a professional who can clean it out.
Problem: Drafts are coming in everywhere.
Solution: Block anywhere air can get through.
You’ve got the heat running just fine and the insulation is doing its job, but now you can feel the drafts — and the cold wake-up call is hitting your heating bills, too. It’s time to go to war armed with weather stripping, door sweeps, heavy-duty caulk, and even insulating pads for those places where drafts can surprise you, like behind light switches and electrical outlets. After everything has been sealed up, you can also consider covering old windows with plastic film and caulk, hanging heavy drapes over patio doors, and paying attention to the seals around outlets, such as dryer vents. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a list of places where drafts can get through, as well as solid information on how to stop the air infiltration.
Problem: The cost of heating is still far too high.
Solution: Explore all other heating options.
If your utility bills get far too high to handle during the dead of winter, it might be time to look for alternatives. Firewood is very inexpensive — if you have a fireplace, you’re in luck, as it can be used on its own or in combination with other heating methods. Other options include natural gas and electric heating systems. The U.S. Energy Information Administration offers an excellent calculation tool to help you decide between various heating fuels, and Duke Energy has a few helpful tools as well.
If your home already has ductwork installed, your options grow broader. Upgrading your furnace can decrease utility bills. The up-front investment can be steep, but you could see a savings of $200 per year on your utility bills, according to EnergyStar.
Good insulation, ductwork repairs, and blocking drafts can save money. Contact AirCare today, to find out how we can help keep your home warm and cozy.