Winter means colder weather and depending on where you live, there may be snow, ice, sleet and winds. When you think about winter, you probably think about coats, gloves and boots as that's what you see & put on each day.
As the temperatures start to drop, you should also think about how to prepare your home for winter. Why? Just like a winter coat keeps you warm, adequate insulation keeps your home warm and by caulking windows, doors and other gaps that leak that warm air, you can reduce your home heating (or cooling) costs. There are many tasks that can be done around the house to save money and let you keep your home warmer so read these tips on buttoning up your home for winter!
Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Did you know that almost half of your average home's energy consumption is used for heating. By making updates and following the tips below you can help to keep your home warm and running efficiently this winter.
Insulation – Standards for insulation have become more stringent so older homes should be reviewed and insulation added to meet today's recommended insulation levels.
Doors and Windows – Install storm doors and windows to help slow heat loss. With single pane windows, consider replacing them with double pane windows starting with the windows in the rooms you use the most. If you can't afford replacement windows or storm windows, there are many plastic sheeting products on the market or bubble wrap which can be reused.
Gaps and Leaks – Houses are stick built so there are lots of gaps where air is leaking into/out of your house. Different types of insulation and caulking can be used to stop these leaks, i.e. where the house sits on top of the foundation or lights and pipes push up into the attic.
Protect your Pipes – Wrap pipes that aren't insulated or that pass through unheated spaces with heating tape which you can find at any hardware stores.
Let the Sun Shine In – On Sunny days, keep your window treatments open to allow for natural heat to keep your house warm … and close them at night when the outside temperatures drop.
Fix that Fan – By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan (blades should be turning clockwise), the fan will push warm air down and help you stay warm without running the furnace.
Keep Furnace Filters Clean – During the winter, furnace filters should be changed regularly as clogged and dirty filters reduce air flow and cause the furnace to run less efficiently.
Check your Chimney – Keep the fireplace damper when you're not using it, to reduce the amount of cold air coming in.
Clean out your Gutters – Clogged gutters can cause ice dams to form when water melts and re-freezes. When this happen, the water can be forced to find gaps and it seeps into your house.