It’s Valentine’s Day and you know you want to do something special. But dining at a crowded, noisy restaurant? Battling downtown traffic? Bundling up just to get to the car? Not all that appealing, is it? Maybe the best way to spend this Valentine’s Day is to stay in and create some home comfort of your own. Here’s how you can ensure that your HVAC system cooperates with that plan.
What Really IS Home Comfort?
Many folks think that home comfort is just about maintaining an optimal temperature. Some realize that efficiency is also a factor and others know that it’s important to have a good, clean filter. But people often miss an important part of the equation, and that's fresh, healthy air. It’s an entire system that determines home comfort; your home itself, the heating and cooling equipment, ventilation components, exhaust fans, and chimneys all play a role, and each one affects another.
What is Ideal Home Comfort?
Naturally, what’s ideal for one person may be different for another—everyone has their own preferences when it comes to temperature, humidity, and noise levels. But HVAC pros will tell you that “perfection” in home comfort includes noiseless HVAC operation, temperature and humidity levels so natural and cozy that you don’t even realize you’ve got a system, and fuel efficiency. Add to that, peace of mind that you have a filtration system and the right balance of fresh air to keep you and your family healthy, and it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.
Achieving Optimum Home Comfort
To create your optimal home comfort, start with the easiest and progress from there. First, find your optimal temperature. A range of 68-70 degrees in winter is what many people find comfortable. But your comfort zone may be above or below that. If you have zoned heating, you can set different temperatures in each zone, keeping things cooler in less-used areas and warmer where the family gathers. To make most efficient use of your heating, check that windows and doors are securely closed and sealed. Here are some other immediate steps you can take to stay cozy in the winter months.
For longer-range solutions, you may want to start with a home energy audit. It can help determine ways to better insulate your home or make other changes to help with energy savings. Locally, both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy offer great programs.
Another option is to have an HVAC expert conduct a heat loss calculation on your home. This evaluation, which will assess your insulation, ductwork, and other elements of your system, will give the inspector the information needed to advise you on next steps toward your ideal home comfort.
A Valentine's Evening to Remember
If all of this adds up to a tall task to complete in time for this Valentine's day, here’s a fun formula to go with. Turn up the heat a degree or two (one evening won’t make a lot of difference in your energy bill), pop the cork on a bottle of wine, and stream a romantic movie. You’ll be glad you stayed in and created your own brand of “home comfort.”