Every home needs some extra attention before the winter season starts. Freezing temperatures can cause damage and drive up your energy costs. Home winterization is generally inexpensive, so it makes sense to get this done early.
- Chimney maintenance. If you will use your chimney during the season, schedule a fall inspection so you will know whether it is safe. A technician will clear out creosote to prevent a chimney fire. Chimneys should be checked each year for damage and blockages from nests or debris.
- Prevent air leaks. Heat loss will lead to higher energy bills, so look for spaces around windows and seal them with caulk.
- Check the insulation. If the home does not have enough insulation this will decrease energy efficiency. The attic is a common source of heat loss. Insulate to seal gaps that will allow warm air traveling upwards to escape.
- Shield the pipes. Freezing pipes can break and lead to expensive plumbing repairs. There is insulation made for pipes that will keep them from freezing in low temperatures. It is inexpensive and easy to apply. You should also check for spaces that will let in cold air and cause the pipes to freeze.
- Get a programmable thermostat. These devices save energy as they give you more control over the heating of the home. You can control the temperature, turn off the heat in empty rooms, and set the heat to come on at certain times. Some programmable thermostats can be controlled using a smartphone.
- Use weatherstripping. Apply weatherstripping to the doors and the garage door to increase energy efficiency in the winter. Weatherstripping is also available for different types of windows.
- Get an energy audit. Contact your local power company for an evaluation of your power usage. The technician will make recommendations for increasing energy efficiency in the winter season.
- Change the furnace filters. Get the furnace checked before winter, and change the filters during the cold season. Dirty filters will affect the flow of air, and cause the furnace to use more energy.
- Run fans in reverse. Ceiling fans can be set to run in reverse to circulate warm air in the room and lower your heating costs.
Home winterization protects the home, and is vital to keeping your budget under control. Tax credits may be available in your area for projects that increase energy efficiency in the home.