Winter is here, and it is important to winterize your home for those extended cold spells! Winterizing your home will protect your home from damage, and save you money on utility bills. Here are some steps to take to make sure you are ready.
Outside water faucets are prone to freezing in cold weather. You can purchase an inexpensive insulating bonnet from home improvement stores to protect your outside faucets. Don’t forget to drain and roll your water hoses. Lay the hose out flat on a slope to drain any water. Once drained – you can roll them up and get them out of the way. You don’t want to have to replace those water hoses come spring.
Most homes are equipped with one or more ceiling fans. What many don’t know is there is a switch on the ceiling fan just above the light fixture that will reverse the direction the fan turns. Reversing the direction of your fan will force the warm air next to the ceiling down along the walls – resulting in a warmer room, and your ceiling fan is a very inexpensive fixture to run.
Replace your air handler filters (the air filter on your air conditioning/heating unit). It is easy to forget, and in colder temperatures your heating unit will be running more than normal. During cold periods, you should consider replacing your filter once a month. This will increase airflow through your heater, thereby heating your home faster and allowing your unit to work more efficiently.
Seal those drafty doors. Over time, the weather stripping at the bottom of exterior doors will wear. Also, the weathers tripping on the sides of your exterior doors may be worn from use, or a pet scratching at the door. This will result in drafty doors. You can either replace the weather stripping, or just go the old fashioned way and place a rolled up towel along the bottom of an exterior door to seal off those drafts.
One of the best ways to save money on utilities is to turn down that thermostat and wear a sweater. Reducing the temperature by only a couple of degrees will usually make a big difference in that utility bill. Use of a smart thermostat to only run the unit when you are home can also make a dent – and the thermostat is not that difficult to replace.
These are a just a few tips to prepare your home for the cold weather. To take your savings to the next level, a good contractor can examine your home for even further energy improvements, such as window replacements, energy efficient heating units, and other improvements to your home. There are even tax credits available for making your home more energy efficient. You can check out some of the credits available at https://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits and don’t forget to check you city website for local credits.
Stay warm, and save money!