Baby, it’s cold outside! The dreaded polar vortex has made it’s first unwelcome appearance in our neck of the woods, which means it’s time to get your home ready to weather the winter months.
You want to keep your home warm and toasty inside, but winterizing isn’t just about staying warm. By investing some time and energy of your own to prep your home, you will end up saving in energy costs. Preparing your home for the cold winter months will also save you the unexpected headaches of busted pipes or a failing furnace.
Follow our winter prep checklist to get your home ready for the deep freeze:
Clean your gutters. Water should be able to flow freely now to help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later.
Change your furnace filter. Regularly replacing the filter can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity.
Invest in a programmable thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat and save money by setting the temperature lower while you are away or asleep. The US Department of Energy says that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature in the winter.
Check for drafts. Cold air can easily leak in through windows, doors or any additional exterior gaps. Here are a few fixes:
- Window insulation film – if you take the time to do it correctly, it won’t look tacky and will significantly lower your heating bill
- Weatherstrip tape – simple and easy, seal your windows and doors tightly with weatherstripping
- Caulk – fill any remaining gaps in siding, windows or doors with caulk
Reverse your ceiling fan. Having fan blades move in a clockwise direction will push the warm air back down to reheat the space.
Inspect your chimney. If you have a fireplace or wood stove with a chimney, check it for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary. Also look for any blockages like bird nests.