Prepare Your Home For Winter

Before snow flies, you may want to winterize your home to lower heating costs and keep the cold out.

Give Your Heating System A Tune Up

Your heating system works more efficiently if it is clean, lubricated and properly adjusted.  Once in the fall and once in the spring will keep it working at top capacity.  Regular fiberglass filters should be changed monthly.  If you want to trap more bacteria, mold, viruses and pollen, consider electrostatic or HEPA filters which only need to be changed twice a year.

Check Windows and Doors for Air

On a windy day, walk around your home and check all the windows and door for air flow.  Install weather stripping to stop any leaks you feel and either buy or make a “snake” (a tube of fabric filled with sand or kitty litter) to place at the bottom of any doors that are letting in air.

Reverse the Fan

 If you have an overhead fan that has a reverse switch, turn it on so air is projected down toward the floor.  This will help keep the warm air that rises to the ceiling down at floor level and can save as much as 10 percent in heating costs.

Winterize Windows

If you don’t have efficient storm windows, or drafts are a serious problem, you can add a layer of protection with caulking and a window insulation kit.  Remove old caulking and any peeling paint from the outside, then apply new caulk.  The insulation kit seals the entire window behind a large sheet of shrink-wrap plastic which is mostly invisible.  The plastic adheres to the interior window casing with double-sided tape;.  A blow dryer then seals the plastic into place.

Lower the Thermostat

Lower your thermostat at night and when you will be gone all day to save money on heating bills.  A programmable thermostat will do this for you, or you can just make lowering the thermostat a part of your before leaving and before bed rituals.  For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill.