The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and winter will soon be here.
There are several steps people can take to improve the energy efficiency and safety of their homes during winter.
The easiest and least expensive step people can take to improve energy efficiency is to regularly change air and furnace filters, Duwayne Suffield of Suffield’s Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing of Marion said.
“The cheapest maintenance for heating and air-conditioning is changing your filter,” he said.
Generally, a pleated filter is good for about 60 days, he said.
Another cause of wasted energy is drafts through cracks around doors and windows, but there are products that can be used to seal those cracks, such as expanding foams, said Anita Seacat of Flint Hills Building Supply in Marion.
Although a fireplace can help make a home warm and cozy while taking some of the burden off a furnace, fireplaces also add safety concerns. Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier said people should check their chimney every year to make sure it doesn’t have buildup that increases the risk of fire.
Another step to improve fire safety, whether a home has a fireplace or not, is to change batteries on smoke detectors. Regnier said it is good to change the batteries at the beginning and end of daylight saving time, because it is an easy to remember cue to change the batteries twice a year.