Already the cooler breezes of autumn are making their way through many areas of the country which means that winter won’t be far behind. With hints of autumn in the air and the sweltering heat of summer occurring less often, now is the time to make sure that your home is ready for winter. Here are nine ways to do so:
The job of insulation is to keep the air inside your home warm and indoors. The attic is a common source of lost heated air. Insulating it with R-49 if you live in a cold area and R-38 if you’re located in a warmer climate helps prevent that loss. It is actually possible make this a DIY project, but this improvement still has a great value when utilizing the services of a professional.
When’s the last time you paid attention to your thermostat? Programmable ones let you set the temperature you want your home to be at certain times of the day and night. This means that you won’t have to keep your home toasty warm during the winter days when everyone is out of the house. Instead, set the thermostat to lower the temperature while you’re gone and then raise it back up in time for you to arrive back at a toasty warm house.
A door sweep is a piece of flexible rubber that is attached with an aluminum strip to the lower edge of a door. Adding a door sweep to your exterior doors can help stop drafts from creeping in your house underneath them.
Using felt or foam weatherstripping that’s applied to the inside of your door’s frame can help keep draft at bay. You can either install weatherstripping on all your exterior doors or check for drafts with a candle to determine which ones need it.
The last thing you want to do is be the 11th person in line for heat pump services on the coldest day of the year. Be proactive and call out a professional HVAC technician to give your heat pump or heating system a once over. If you schedule an appointment soon, you should be able to beat the rush of other homeowners who call.
Even though some might think your guttering system helps finish off the look of the exterior of your home, it actually has an important purpose: to funnel water and snow runoff away from your home, its walls and the foundation. Removing leaves, branches and other debris now helps prevent clogging and sagging later. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your roof is in good condition. It would be a shame to go through all of these projects only to find your roof has a leak.
Help protect the life of your furnace and reduce your heating bills by changing the furnace filters on a regular basis. Make it a habit to check your furnace filters once a month — put a reminder on your calendar or in your smartphone, if necessary — and replace them if you can no longer see through them.
In addition to looking good and completing the decor of a room, your window coverings can also help you save money and energy during the winter. Consider replacing your current window coverings with those that are insulated. Leave them open during the day for the windows that get sun and close them at night to conserve the heat that’s inside your home.
If your hot water heater is more than a few years old, you could probably save money by installing an inexpensive and insulated blanket. Make sure to use a blanket that’s specifically made for water heaters and don’t obscure the burner access if you have a propane or gas water heater.
Follow the above tips and you can enjoy a cozy winter that doesn’t require a great deal of energy to do so.