Preparing Your Home for Winter with Electric Heat
A few simple tips to ensure your winter is as cozy as can be.
From cleaning to testing, a little bit of smart and early preparation is all it takes to ensure your home glows in the warmth of efficient electric heat, all winter long.
Start Early to Help Heat Your Home More Efficiently
When preparing your electric heating system for winter, it’s always a good idea to start early. Starting your prep work around the beginning to mid-September (depending on where you live), will help ensure you can refamiliarize yourself with your space heaters – like radiant heaters, convection heaters or fan-forced heaters – and give yourself enough time to make any adjustments before the cold weather really sets in.
While it’s still warm out, it’s also a good idea to check some key areas around your home that could affect how efficiently your electric heating system operates. For example, look for cracks in caulking around windows and doors – especially those wider than that a couple of millimeters – and ensure the old, cracked caulking is replaced with a fresh bead to stop any uncomfortably cold air from seeping in and forcing even the best space heater to work extra hard.
Get to Know Your Electric Heat Again
Electric heaters come in three different formats, each with its own unique benefits. Fan-forced heaters are great for on-demand warmth and comfort, propelling hot air throughout the room for quick and powerful heating. Working silently and consistently, convection heaters naturally draw the chilly, denser air from just above the floor, where it’s then warmed and re-diffused throughout the room. Radiant heaters, with their honeycomb-plated exteriors, feel similar to sun rays and fill the room with enveloping warmth set to the temperature you prefer most.
Whether fan-forced, convection, or radiant, and also whether it’s a heater in-wall, lower-to-the-floor heaters or more, each heater has its own unique controls and settings for ultimate electric heating comfort. A long summer could make even the most seasoned users lose track of some of the finer benefits – programmable heating or otherwise – electric heating units offer, so it never hurts to take a quick read of your unit’s user manual. Not only will it help you refamiliarize yourself with the controls and settings, but you might also learn a new way to save money, by operating your electric heating system as efficiently as possible.
Maintenance, Cleaning and Testing Of Your Electric Heaters
Now that you’ve gotten to know your electric heating units again, the next step in preparing your home for winter is gearing up for a test run. Items in your home might have shifted during the summer months, so to start, ensure the area around your space heaters is clear. Providing warmth without obstruction will not only help your electric heating system run more safely and efficiently but will also provide you with a much-needed open area to provide some important maintenance and cleaning.
Even though your electric heating units might not have been used in a while, dust and lint could have built up - especially those close to the floor that provide a type of baseboard heat. A soft cloth is usually all it takes to wipe away simple surface dust and lint (or a light vacuum on the honeycomb grill of a radiant heater), but if deeper cleaning is required, try a spray can of compressed air. Just like clearing deep-rooted dust from your computer keyboard, a few quick shots of compressed air will clear away layers of dust and lint from your electric heaters’ vital components – just be sure to wear a dust mask!
Finally, with your electric heating units clear and clean, give them a test run, being sure to set them to a temperature warmer than the current temperature of your room. If you feel the warmth, you’re all set to spend the winter basking in comfort.