November 15, 2013
How to Winterize Your Home
As winter approaches, it is time to take steps to prepare your home for the coming colder months. Winter brings with it freezing temperatures, heavy snow, ice and high energy bills. While you cannot do anything about the weather, you can significantly reduce those bills by winterizing your home.
Here are some great energy saving tips for winter:
Heating System Inspection
Contact a local HVAC professional and schedule an inspection of your furnace. The cost of the inspection is worth it in the amount of energy savings you receive. The professional will give it a full cleaning, tune-up and check it for safety. Request that the furnace filter be changed or have a permanent electrostatic filter installed.
In addition to the furnace, have the HVAC expert inspect and clean the heating ducts. Duct leaks allow up to 60% of heated air to escape before it reaches any rooms.
Install Storm Doors and Windows
Achieve a big boost in energy conservation by installing storm proof doors and windows in the home. They prevent warm air from escaping while stopping cold air from entering. Earn a federal tax credit for taking this step.
When temperatures drop down to frigid levels the intense cold causes water pipes to freeze. This causes a loss of hot water until they thaw. Prevent this common problem by wrapping pipes in foam insulation designed for this purpose.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Easily save money by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees. This reduces energy costs while water temperature remains comfortable.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Protectors
Winter is the time of year when there is a rise in house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fires and gasses engulf homes in many cases because people are trying to stay warm. Prevent potential tragedies by checking smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Install and inspect carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are life savers.
Clean Out Gutters
Winterizing your home applies to the outside area too. During the winter, gutters collect debris, rain, snow and ice. Clogged gutters causes water to
leak into the house. This ruins ceilings, walls and leads to flooding. Thoroughly clean gutters.
An often overlooked task is tree branch trimming. Branches that are too close to the home or car are an accident waiting to happen. Heavy snow and ice accumulates on branches during storms. Prevent property damage by trimming branches.