It’s been extremely chilly and cold for this winter across the Tampa Bay area, yet not quite record-breaking.
While January is usually the coldest month in Florida, it still averages 65 degrees throughout the day. But the last weekend of January 2022 was different this year. Clearwater hit 29 degrees—a low point in Pinellas—and across the bay, Tampa recorded a low of 27 degrees and Zephyrhills a low of 26.
We’re expecting more cold weather soon, especially since the groundhog saw his shadow on February 2 (and we’re due for “six more weeks of winter” this year). Are you ready to heat your home?
To help our Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco customers prepare for chilly FL winter temps, our heating service professionals at Air Care share the six best ways to prep your Clearwater home for winter weather below.
Properly Heat Your Home
Heating your home may seem like the most obvious way to prepare for a drop in temperatures, but practicing home safety is also the key to this solution.
The best way to do so is by using your tried and true HVAC system to heat your home. At Air Care, we install and repair electrical heating systems and heat pumps to keep your home comfortable throughout the cold months and all year long.
In the winter, heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air and use it to warm your home. It uses a relatively small amount of electricity to run, making them less expensive to operate than a natural gas furnace, which are typically used up north.
If you have a window air conditioner, you should either remove or seal off the unit in winter to prevent cold air from entering your house, apartment, townhome or condo—and alternatively, warm air from escaping it. If it’s not easy to remove the unit, you can invest in insulated covers to reduce air leakage. (Here’s a list of the best indoor AC covers from Apartment Therapy.) Sealing the inside and outside of the units with plastic sheeting can also help.
For more tips and tricks on heating your home, contact our staff at Air Care today.
Check for Air Leaks
Aside from window AC units, the biggest culprits for air leaks in your home are old, efficient windows or doors and inadequate insulation.
Start by inspecting the areas around your windows and doors for cracks or other gaps. You can fill in any cracks you find with caulk or consider installing new windows. Learn about Duke Energy Florida’s energy efficient window replacement program for rebate information and savings.
Other times Florida residents feel a chill inside their home because their attic or internal walls lack enough insulation. When this happens, cold outdoor air seeps in, heated air seeps out, and your AC system has to work harder to heat your home. One of the best investments you can make towards lowering your heating costs this winter is improving your insulation. The older your home, the more likely you are to need insulation improvements. Visit Duke Energy Florida’s website for information on their attic insultation upgrade program.
Need assistance in checking for air leaks or inspecting your insulation? Use Duke Energy’s Home Energy Check for ways to save on Clearwater home upgrades and improvements, or contact our heating and cooling professionals at Air Care to request a checkup today.
Properly Set and Select Your Thermostat
Your thermostat plays a large role in the efficiency of your HVAC system and temperature of your home. According to Duke Energy Florida, the best thermostat setting to heat your home is the lowest temperature at which your family is comfortable. For most people, that’s 68-70 degrees.
In the cold winter months in Florida, it can be tempting to leave the thermostat at a set temperature when you’re away so that when you return, it’s warm inside your home. But according to energy.gov, heating doesn’t work that way. It’s actually more efficient to heat your home as needed, which means turning the heat down when leaving the house or setting a smart or programmable thermostat to do so, if you have one. (Our favorite thermostat is Honeywell.) You could even save up to 10% on your heating bills by turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours.
The location of your thermostat is also key to keeping you comfortable and saving money on energy costs this winter. For example, energy.gov recommends not installing your thermostat near:
- Doors that could let in cold drafts,
- Windows that could shine hot rays of sun onto the thermostat,
- A bathroom door that could let hot steam settle around the thermostat, or
- Lamps or TV sets, since they release heat that could confuse the device’s sensors.
The best place to install a thermostat is in the hallway to accurately read heated air in your home. If you need assistance installing or troubleshooting a thermostat, call Air Care today.
Use Space Heaters and Fireplaces with Caution
Many Clearwater and Tampa Bay residents use small space heaters to warm their homes when indoor temperatures get chilly, but the Clearwater Fire Department warns residents to use heaters with caution.
To avoid fire hazards, be sure to place your heater at least three feet away from other objects and use newer models with a tip-over or shut-off mechanism. Some space heaters reach nearly 350 degrees, so use them wisely and keep out of the reach of small children and household pets.
According to Duke Energy Florida, fireplaces are not very efficient for heating your home either. Ventilating your house is important, and because of it, fireplaces pull large amounts of heated air from inside your home up and out of the chimney. If you have a fireplace in your home, consider installing glass doors to help limit the amount of air that gets drawn in and out.
As we noted above, the best way to heat your home is with your HVAC system. Contact Air Care today to learn more about a heat pump installation (we recommend Rheem) and other heating repair and maintenance services.
Change Your Air Filters
Air filters protect your HVAC system and keep your AC ducts and unit clean from unwanted particles. The perk of an AC filter is that it catches dust, dirt and debris and prevents mold growth in your system. But if not cleaned or changed regularly, your AC won’t run at its peak.
If you want to properly heat your home during the Florida winter months, be sure to still check your air filter at least every 30 days and change when it’s ready. Contact Air Care today for assistance.
Schedule Heating Repair and Maintenance
Heating your home can get expensive, especially when Florida winter weather is extreme and your AC unit isn’t running it’s best.
Regular HVAC maintenance helps make your home more energy-efficient and saves on utility costs. At Air Care, our heating services include the following:
- Electric Heating System Service & Repair
- Gas Furnaces
- Gas Heating
- Heat Pumps
- Heating & Air Conditioning Ductwork
- Heating Systems
- Heat Pump Repair
- Home Maintenance Programs
- Split Systems
- Electronic Leak Detection
- Emergency Service
- New & Used Parts & Equipment
- Energy-Efficient Systems
- Fan Coils
- Equipment Overhauls & Upgrades
- Inspections & Installation
- Maintenance & Service Contracts
- Mini-Split Systems
- Mobile Home Air Conditioners
- Multiple Zone Systems
- Preventative Maintenance
- Repair & Replacement
- Replacement Parts
- Warranties & Guarantees
Contact Air Care to schedule a heating repair service or maintenance.
Heating Service Company in Clearwater
At Air Care, we help our customers create the ideal environment inside their home. Whether that means using a heating service to ensure your home is heated properly or repairing a HVAC unit that’s not working, or working well, we’re here to help you.
You may find different heating service companies in Clearwater with a quick Google search, but there’s something that separates Air Care from our competition: we pride ourselves in the quality of work our AC technicians deliver on every heating and cooling service we complete. (Cheap heating services rarely deliver high-quality work, usually because of their poor training, bad service or the quality of parts used.)
Contact Air Care—your trained and licensed heating professionals—to schedule an appointment or learn how to best heat your home this winter.
“Dear Air Care: I just wanted to drop you a line to say “Thanks!” for fixing our heating situation. He (AC technician) hit the nail on the head, and we have not had a moment of trouble since. Thank you again!” — Murray & Carrie C. of Largo, FL
Contact Air Care today for all of your heating service needs.