How to Ensure a Comfortable Home for the Holidays

Family at dinner table

The holidays are all about family gatherings in warm, inviting settings. While your landscaping and interior decorations are next to perfection, you're a little less confident about your heating unit's ability to keep you and your guests warm when it's cold outside. Here are seven things that you can do now to make everyone cozy throughout the colder months.

1. Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Don't wait until there's a failure to have your heating system serviced. By scheduling a service appointment for your heating unit before winter, you can be confident that your holiday parties bring all the joy of the season without any of the chill.

2. Change Your HVAC Filter

There are guest lists to generate, special foods to make, and guest rooms to prepare. However, changing your HVAC filter should be on your holiday checklist, as well. A clogged filter diminishes your heating system's performance. It also contributes to poor indoor air quality.

3. Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

As the song says, it's the most wonderful time of year. It's also the busiest. With all of the holiday shopping to do and celebrations to attend, your schedule will be erratic.

Unlike a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat doesn't depend on a rigid schedule. Instead, it adjusts settings automatically based on your location. For example, when you leave for an evening out with loved ones, it will turn down the heat for maximum energy savings. Because it's linked to your smartphone's GPS, it knows when you're on your way back so that your home is just as comfortable as you left it.

4. Seal Leaks and Drafts

Besides contributing to higher utility bills, air leaks and drafts create an uneven distribution of warm air throughout your home. These cold spots in your house can put a damper on your holiday festivities. To make your home more comfortable, install seals around drafty doors and windows. Also, hire a professional to seal your ducts.

5. Hang Insulated, Thermal Drapes

A study done by the University of Wisconsin showed that heat loss through windows represents nearly 30 percent of your yearly heating bill. Installing thermal drapes is a cost-effective way to prevent heat from escaping. These drapes are lined with an insulating material that blocks heat transference.

6. Add Insulation

Installing extra insulation keeps warm air where it belongs -- inside your home. Common places to install more insulation include attics, walls, and floors. Your HVAC specialist or an energy auditor can let you know the type of insulation you need and where it should be installed.

7. Install a Zoned Heating System

If you have an improperly sized HVAC system for your space or you just finished a room addition, you may experience uncomfortable temperature variations in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system to a zoned heating system eliminates cold and hot spots. With this system, you control the amount of heat that comes into a particular room or zone.

Bottom line: New England winters are notoriously brutal. Make sure that your home's HVAC system is in top shape this season by contacting the climate control specialists at Morris Heating & Air Conditioning. To schedule an appointment, call (978) 961-0338.

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