Winter is coming! It’s a fact that we cannot ignore. Beautiful white snow, cold winds and ice galore is what we have to look forward to. Unfortunately, along with those things, comes high heating costs, ice issues and chilly drafts into our homes. But have no fear, there are several ways we can combat those issues. With some simple steps, you can ready your home for the winter months and save yourself money on your heating costs.
First things first, seal up your home. There is nothing more frustrating that watching your money slip through the cracks. Literally. New weather-stripping can be a good place to start. Make sure that you have a good seal on all your exterior doors by running your hands along the doorframe when it is closed. If you feel a draft you may need to replace your weather-stripping for a better, more cost effective seal. For windows, caulking any gaps, cracks or holes you may find both interior and exterior. All these things can lead to a big savings.
You also lose a lot of heat, and in turn money, from lack of adequate insulation in your attic. Older homes especially are susceptible to this problem. Building codes have changed so if your home is older, more than likely you do not have the appropriate amount of insulation in your attic keeping your heat in and your costs down. Some older homes may have as little as 6-9 inches of insulation. Ideally, you should have at least 15 inches of insulation or more to make sure your heat stays where it should.
Another way to make sure your home is ready for the winter is to have a furnace tune up. That involves making sure everything is working properly, there are no leaks making your furnace inefficient and that your filters are clean and ready to go for the heating season. A furnace tune up goes hand in hand with making sure your air and return vents are clear of pet hair and not blocked by furniture. This will ensure the warm air is able to circulate and return freely, thus making your heating system work more efficiently and in turn, saving you money.
One very simple and free way you can get your home ready for winter is by flipping the switch on your ceiling fans so they move clockwise instead of counter clockwise. It doesn’t cost a dime and can make a big impact. When the fan moves clockwise, the blades push the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down to where you are. Making you warmer and helping you resist the urge to turn the thermostat up “just a tad”.
There are some additional small ways you can ready your home for winter. Cleaning out your gutters is one that is often overlooked. Blocked gutters make it hard for water (from snow melt) to make its way to the ground. This can cause ice damming. Which in turn can cause damage to your home. Making sure outside faucets are turned off, hoses are disconnected, and any lawn irrigation systems are completely blown out is also important. Taking the time to perform those tasks can save you money and heartache in the long run. There is nothing worse than come spring time, you have a broken pipe due to water freezing in it over winter.
Last but certainly not least is the need to address your sidewalks, driveway and steps. Stock up on sand and salt to combat the ice that will surely come. Repairing cracks in sidewalks and driveways can save you a headache after all the snow clears. Cracks can allow for the elements to put extra wear and tear on your cement. Water expands as it freezes making the tiny cracks you have now into much larger, harder to fix issues by the time spring rolls around. The best thing to do is to stop it before it starts.
Getting ready for the winter months can be easy if you have a plan. Let Homefix take care of your winterization needs and get you on the right track for winter. With a few changes you can impact your heating bill in a positive way. Saving money for the more important things in life; like hot chocolate and ice-skating! Contact us today for a free home energy evaluation!
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