1. Make sure your filter is clean. Every little piece of junk in your filter equals lost efficiency.
  2. Along those same lines, use a cheaper air filter. It sounds counter intuitive, but cheaper air filters don’t catch all the tiny little pieces of stuff, and because of that, your HVAC system is more efficient. More airflow=better efficiency. If allergies are an issue, there are add on hepa filters that can be installed on your HVAC system without losing efficiency, as well as standalone units that are available at most big box stores.
  3. Get some humidity. Whether you do it with a humidifier on your HVAC system, a standalone unit on your living room floor, or a pot of water on the wood stove, higher humidity percentages will cut down on dust, treat your wood floors nice, and make the house feel a little warmer. 70 degrees at 50% rh feels the exact same as 72 degrees at 10% rh.
  4. If you have a heat pump, clean coils outside are every bit as important in the winter months as they are in the summer, so make sure they’re nice and clean. Just don’t forget to disconnect the hose from the water spigot when you’re done cleaning them. I’m no plumber.
  5. EVERYONE has a smoke alarm, as they should, but carbon monoxide detectors tend to get overlooked. With all the windows closed, the heat turned up, and the snow piling up outside, winter is prime time to have a CO mishap. Try to keep them away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms, but having a CO detector in the house might let you sleep a little easier knowing you don’t have to worry about not waking up.

Elder Heating and Cooling

Photo Credit- Unsplash/ Sam Beasley