Preparing Your Home for Winter
Happy Thanksgiving! Though Halloween is over and the leaves have all fallen, fall is still here and with it comes plenty of time to prepare your home for the winter. If you haven’t started yet, these tips will help you get going.
Check Your Home Comfort System
It’s November now, so maybe you’ve had your heating on for a few weeks. Even if it’s working properly, you should call and schedule a tune-up! You never know what’s going to happen and it’s always good to stay on top of things. The alternative would be losing heat when it’s too cold to go without it and no one wants that.
Change the Filters
Another way to prepare with your home comfort systems is to change your filters! It’s a busy time of year and sometimes tune-ups can’t be squeezed in. We get it! Just be sure that your filters are fresh for the upcoming cold front. Keeping them clean will not only ensure that your heating will work better, but it’ll keep the energy costs consistent (since your heater won’t be working in overdrive trying to heat your home through a clogged filter).
Clean the Gutters
The leaves are mostly off the trees, so now’s a good time to clean out the gutters before the first real snowfall. This will help prevent water from building up and damaging the roof, siding, or even the foundation.
- Be sure you’re also adding extra drainage–extend the downspouts so water can drain further away from the foundation.
Seal Any Air Leaks
Inspect your home for small cracks or holes, especially around windows and doorways. Caulk is great for sealing up small air leaks, as is expandable foam spray. If you’ve got a large gap in a door that leads outside, you could also get some door sweeps to plug them up and keep the cold air from sneaking in!
Keep in mind, any air leaks in the attic can allow up to 30% of your heat to escape, burning through that much more fuel to keep the home at a comfortable temperature. If you can get up to your attic, check your vents, ducts, wiring that leads outside, and behind the drywall for any holes. The caulk and expanding foam spray can be good here, too.
Clean Your Chimney and Close the Damper
If you use your chimney in the winter, be sure you clean it first! After months without use, it could probably use a good sweeping. Additionally, if your chimney’s damper is open, your home’s heat will rise right on out, so make sure it’s shut when you’re not using it!
Invest in a Smart/Programmable Thermostat
Smart or programmable thermostats help lower energy costs in the winter by automatically regulating your home’s temperature while you’re out. Install one ahead of time to leave room for figuring it out and fixing any issues–they’re more affordable than you think!