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Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to keeping your home warm during winter

Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to keeping your home warm during winter

Posted by
Ed Miller on Wed, Oct 16, 2013

You’ve Been Drafted!

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that between 5 and 30 percent of an average home’s energy use is wasted competing with drafts. They’re more than annoying; if a draft flows over your thermostat, it will give a false reading. The thermostat may instruct your HVAC system to run the air conditioner or furnace for longer than is necessary.

Pass a lit candle around doors, windows, and perforations in the walls where cables come in and drainpipes exit (always be careful to remove anything potentially flammable, such as drapes and blinds). When the flame flickers, you have a DIY sealing project to undertake. The best results are often achieved with the simplest remedies; use the appropriate caulk for the adjacent materials, in a handheld gun, and simply plug the leak. Caulks are available from most home improvement warehouses and department stores.

Ductwork Disasters

Aging ductwork can leak like a sieve. There have been studies which suggest that between 10 and 30 percent of treated air is lost through split ducts and separated joints within the system. The impact on your energy spends, of course, is once again a year-round penalty; those ducts are shared by your air conditioner and furnace.

You can visually inspect ductwork where passes through the loft or crawl-space, then restore ailing areas yourself. Don’t use duct tape, however; the name is misleading. Duct tape has a short in-use life, become brittle and loses its adhesion within months; this allows air under pressure to escape very quickly. Use a mastic tape recommended for the project, and re-secure steel ductwork using sheet metal screws before applying the tape. For those parts of the system that you can’t see, professional heating and air Jacksonville FL technicians should be called to pressure-test your installation.

Thermostat Know-How

Another government-sponsored study found that the average household spends somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of its annual fuel budget on heating and cooling. Expect a saving of between 1 and 3 percent of that bill for every degree you turn down your thermostat during the heating season. Turn the temperature down even further when everybody’s out and about; there’s little point in paying for treated air that no one’s going to enjoy.

A programmable thermostat can save even more money, and they’re becoming available to the do-it-yourselfer from the outlets mentioned above, and from some hardware stores. Although sold with comprehensive directions, installation is a slightly more challenging project than others suggested here.


Well-insulated pipes work for you in two ways: They minimize energy loss between the water-heater and the point of use, and they markedly decrease any chance the pipes may freeze (remember that Jacksonville’s seven-degree cold snap, in January 1985, still holds the Lowest Temperature record in the southeastern U.S.).

Pre-slit, molded proprietary pipe foam is typically sold at the warehouse stores, along with many hardware outlets. Trim the standard lengths to size then fasten them in place with tape or zip ties. As with all insulation materials, performance is measured in ‘R-values;’ the higher the numeric value, the better its performance.

Insulation Updates

Insulation remains perhaps the single best way to proof against unwanted heat transfer being that heat encroachment through the cooling season, or heat loss during winter. Even if your home already has insulation in its walls, attic and basement, it’s worth investigating to see if modern innovations and better (higher) R-value materials could boost retention.

There have been times when the federal government has reimbursed homeowners, even renters, for a substantial percentage of their costs when installing or retrofitting highly efficient insulation. Because these incentives are sometimes state-specific, be sure you consult with a local HVAC expert to see what offers are current.

In Conclusion

Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning, a family-owned and operated business, has been a fixture on the heating and air Jacksonville FL scene for close to 40 years, covering Southside, Westside, the beaches and Orange Park. Contact us to schedule a visit from one of our fully licensed and insured technicians; with everything from friendly advice to a comprehensive furnace tune-up, we’ll help you keep your home warm this winter.



where you’ll find snyder

Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electric serves families across Florida. You'll find our technicians are just a short phone call away in neighborhoods throughout these counties:


  • Alachua
  • Baker
  • Clay
  • Duval
  • Flagler
  • Nassau
  • St. Johns


  • Broward
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Palm Beach
  • St. Lucie

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-Christy Cormier

The service from Sam and Chris was excellent! They were very knowledgeable and professional. They were able to answer all of my questions and completed all of my electrical issues. I will definitely use them again for future jobs. Thank you!

-Adrienne Beal

From the get go I could tell that the Snyder employees were truly professionals and didn’t push to make sales like other companies I’ve talked to my whole life. They took the time to explain so that I could make a decision. The installers and later the duct cleaners were very respectful during their work here. Thank you.

-Mike Daniels

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-Linda Ackley

Snyder came in and did a total overhaul of our duct system. They had a great knowledge of what to do to make our home so comfortable! The technicians were all so professional and took great care of us! We’re so thankful for their expertise. Great and easy communication with the call center. We will definitely use them again!

-Crystal Hill

Snyder provided an amazing experience from start to finish. Most of us dread getting estimates with pressuring salespeople. Erik was a great guy, explained all my options and didn’t try to pressure me to act quickly! Justin followed up with my husband and I to offer further assistance in our decision. Again, no pressure, just helped with our follow up questions.

-Michele Bauer

Very prompt, professional, courteous, and cleaned up after repair. Had water line break in my front yard and no pressure. Very pleased and would highly recommend Snyder for all your plumbing, and AC needs. Thank you for making a rough morning get better with ease and professionalism.

-Chuck Jr.

Snyder was easy to get in contact with and had availability the next day. Clint came out and needed some parts so had to reschedule us for the next day for installation. He did a great job converting our old 3 knob shower to one. Looks great! Professional and courteous. 100% recommend this company, especially Clint.

-Nicole Hansen

Very thorough and professional Job

-John Ridenour

Excellent work. Hard worker. Highly recommend.

-Andre A

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