10 Easy Steps to Prepare Your Home for Winter and Save on Energy Costs
1. Check your insulation situation. Ensure that the attic has a minimum of 12 inches of insulation, and add a new layer if needed. This will reduce your energy costs and make your home much warmer in the long run.
2. Make sure your ducts are connected and insulated tightly. Poorly connected or insulated ductwork can cause up to 60 percent of heated air to be lost. Examine the ducts for defects, clean them of any dirt, or vacuum out dust or animal hair.
3. Change your furnace filter, and preferably hire someone to inspect the furnace regularly. A new filter is an easy and cost-effective way to improve heating efficiency.
4. Insulate your pipes. This is essential in frigid winter climates, as it prevents major issues like frozen pipes that can burst. Readily available foam insulation is an easy way to protect the pipes.
5. Swap screens for storm windows and doors. This will help keep cold air out and warm air in, while also reducing your bills.
6. Add even more to your windows. Caulk and install weather stripping to fortify insulation, as well as heavier curtains or shades.
7. Don’t forget your ceiling fans. Flip the switch on the fan to cause it to spin clockwise, which will help push warm air down and throughout your house.
8. Pay attention to your chimney. Hire a professional to inspect it on a regular basis, and make sure it has a chimney cap with screen to prevent debris from entering. Keep the damper closed when not in use.
9. Cover up those doorways. Draft snake are an easy, inexpensive way to create a barrier that prevents cold air from entering your home.
10. Move furniture off of vents, and close up anyrooms that aren’t being used. Take a look around your home to make sure warm air can flow through all rooms, and close off any that aren’t being used when the heater is running.
By following these steps, you can make sure that your home has the best chance at surviving the cold winter months in comfort and warmth. Quality insulation and proper furniture and vent placement are essential, as well as making sure that doors, windows, and chimneys are all protected against drafts. Taking the time to winterize your home, whether indoors or outdoors, can provide major benefits for both the environment and your wallet.