Winterize Your Home
Now is the time of year when you need to start thinking about preparing your home for the coming winter. There are several simple and lost cost steps that you can take to protect your home, make it more energy efficient, and save yourself some money all throughout the winter months. Here are a few:
Be sure to regularly replace the air filter in your furnace. Most manufacturers recommend that it be replaced at least every three months. Also, be sure to call a professional HVAC repairman early in the fall to have the annual service on your unit done. They get pretty backed up as soon as the weather turns cold.
If you have central air, be sure that the unit is covered completely to prevent snow getting inside and rusting parts. If you have an evaporative cooler, drain the pipes leading to the unit as well as any standing water in the unit. Make sure to cover the unit and put a insulation plug in the vent leading to the house.
Windows and Doors
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. You can cut down on this waste dramatically by caulking around windows, installing window insulation kits, and putting weather stripping around your exterior doors.
Gutters and Trees
See that your gutters are installed correctly and cleaned free of debris. This will prevent Ice damns from forming which could lead to water leaks in your roof. If you have any tree close to your home and windows, trim any and limbs that could be a hazard to your home if they were to break and fall due to the weight of the snow.
In the winter, you should set your ceiling fans o reverse so that they rotate clockwise. This will push the warm air from the ceiling down and help to warm the house.
Get with a professional to see that your home has adequate insulation in the attic and between the walls. In your attic you need a minimum of 12 inches. If yours falls short of that, considering just simply adding more of the fiberglass insulation.
If you have a sprinkler system, whether it be secondary or culinary, be sure that the water to the system is shut off. Drain the pipes in the system as much as possible. If the water is left on and under pressure, the cold weather could cause the lines to freeze and burst.