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Here in the Midwest, the winter months can be, well, a little gloomy, not to put too fine a point on it. There are fewer hours of natural light each day, fewer sunny days when there is daylight, and the temperatures can get downright unpleasant, to say the least. Fortunately, our homes are where we go to combat the cold weather blues, and there’s no reason you can’t make your home warm and bright this winter with a little help from the Olathe heating and cooling pros at Davenport!

You don’t have to repaint, tear up your flooring, buy all new furniture and accessories, or install new doors and windows to make your home warm and welcoming this winter! These inexpensive tips will help you brighten and warm up your home today, without spending a lot of time or money!

Tune up your HVAC system! Keeping your Olathe heating and cooling system in good working order means having it routinely checked out by HVAC pros. This not only ensures that your furnace is working at peak efficiency during the cold winter months, but it can also help spot problems before they start and prevent costly (and inconvenient) furnace outages on the coldest nights of the year. With Davenport’s VIP service program, you’ll get a full 25-point tune-up for your heating and cooling system from one of our HVAC pros, plus other great savings all year long!

Make sure the humidifier is turned on. Humidity makes it feel warmer, even when it isn’t. Unfortunately, cold winter weather and a running furnace can really dry out the air, which is why many Olathe residents have humidifiers attached to their furnaces. Those don’t do any good if they’re not running, though, so make sure it’s turned on. And if you don’t have one, consider making the investment.

Set the thermostat. When the weather gets cold, it’s tempting to crank the thermostat all the way up. Unfortunately, that sends the energy bill through the roof, and it isn’t the most efficient way to heat your home. In fact, setting your thermostat between 60 and 65 degrees provides the optimal heating efficiency. If you invest in a smart thermostat, it will automatically adjust temperatures based on your preferences and behaviors so it doesn’t heat the house as much when no one is home.

Open the curtains and shades. Even on days that aren’t very sunny, sunlight provides a surprising amount of free warmth – if it can get in! That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your curtains, shades, and blinds open during the day, if you can, especially if your windows face south. Then close them up again when the sun goes down to help keep that heat inside.

Clean the windows. To get that warming sunlight streaming in, though, you’ll want the windows to be clean, both inside and out!

Rearrange the furniture. Sure, where you place your furniture can affect how open and light the room feels, but did you realize that angling furniture so that it faces at least partly toward sources of light can actually cause light to reflect off the furniture and brighten the room? Doing this can even help with seasonal affective disorder! Just make sure that none of your furniture is blocking any of your vents.

Put up some mirrors. Speaking of reflecting light, nothing opens up a room and makes it feel brighter better than a few mirrors. They’ll not only help to expand what natural light there is during the winter, but they can brighten up lamps and other artificial light during the evenings and make the rooms feel bigger and more open.

Switch the direction on your ceiling fans. This one’s easy to forget, but it can make a big difference. During the winter months, ceiling fans should turn clockwise, helping them to push warm air back down toward the floor. Fortunately, switching directions on a ceiling fan is easy, and most just have a switch on the side.

Change out your lampshades. All those decorative lampshades may look great, but they don’t always let as much light through. During the long, dark winter nights, you may want to switch them out for lampshades that are as close to white as you can get. This helps to spread out the light while letting as much of it get through as possible.

Go full spectrum! Full-spectrum bulbs are designed to simulate real daylight, which can be extremely helpful with seasonal affective disorder and can also just help to brighten up your room with light that feels natural. Dimmer switches can also help by giving you more control over how bright you want a space to be throughout the day. Once the sun goes down, you may want to stop using overhead lights and switch to lamps, which can simulate sunset and help you get ready for bed.

Bring out the blankets and comforters! The best way to keep warm in the winter isn’t necessarily by cranking the furnace to the max. You can stay a lot cozier while keeping your utility bill down by piling blankets and comforters wherever you’re going to be spending a lot of time, whether it’s the bedroom, the couch, or your favorite recliner.

Roll out the rugs and stock up on warm socks. Keeping your feet warm will help keep your whole body warm! Because warm air tends to rise, your floor is likely the coldest part of any room. Put rugs over hard floors and sheathe your feet in warm socks, the thicker the better. Everyone has been jumping on the Nordic Socks craze lately, and why not? Those folks must know a thing or two.

Queue up something bright and summery on the TV. Whether you’re watching a TV show or movie or just want some ambient videos or apps on in the background, having something light and summery on the television can help chase away the wintertime blues and keep your home feeling warm and bright.

Since we’re the Olathe heating and cooling pros, we’ve gotta say one more time that one of the best things that you can do to make sure that your home stays warm and cozy all winter long is to get a furnace tune-up today. It not only helps keep your furnace running through the coldest weather, but it helps make sure that you’re getting the most out of your furnace without running up your utility bill.

If you’re ready to schedule an HVAC tune-up today or just have questions for the Olathe heating and cooling pros at Davenport Service Company, give us a call at 913-441-2222 anytime!

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