Kids in Illinois have it easy. Preparing for winter means getting their sleds out of storage, finding their winter coat, and making their holiday gift lists. Adults, however, don’t have it so easy. You need to make sure that your home is working as efficiently as possible to keep energy bills down and efficiency up. These six precautions will get your home ready in time for winter.
Seal Air Leaks
Your heating system has a big job to do in the winter, and you don’t want to make it work any harder than it has to. Even small leaks throughout your home is wasted energy. Before winter hits, make sure you are able to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Focus first on the major leaks, which typically occur in the attic and around windows and door frames, and then use caulk to seal any additional cracks around your home. You may also want to consider weatherizing your windows and purchasing an weatherstripping or a doorsweep for your door so you don’t chance losing any more heat this winter.
Run a Home Energy Audit
You want to make sure your home is as efficient as possible, especially before winter comes and your energy bill goes up. You can do your own home energy audit, or call in the experts to do a more extensive audit. Unfortunately, an audit isn’t worth much if you aren’t willing to make the recommended upgrades, so make sure you follow through after so that your home is running as efficiently as possible, helping both the environment and your wallet.
Check Your Furnace
Although you should get regular service on your heating and cooling system, some people forget about their furnace until they feel that first fall chill. Make sure you have your furnace serviced before you need it, and during the winter change your filter regularly. Having your furnace inspected regularly increases the efficiency and provides a warning if something isn’t quite right. The last thing you want is to have your heating system go out during the dead of winter.
Clean Your Gutters
Although dirty gutters are an annoyance in the summer and the fall, they can turn into a big problem in the winter. Debris, leaves, or any type of clog in your gutter can create ice blockages in the winter that can back up your drainage system. When the water has nowhere to go, it may seep right into your home or cause damage to your roof and drainage system. Before winter hits, clean out those gutters, or hire someone else to do it. Just make sure it’s done before the first freeze.
Check Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if there are any drafts coming in through the fireplace. Although fireplaces can be a good source of heat, it can also let in cold drafts during the winter. When the damper is closed, check to see if there is any cold air still coming in. If so, you may need to install a chimney balloon to prevent wasted energy. For safety reasons, it’s also important to have your fireplace thoroughly cleaned before the winter.
Invest in a Humidifier
Unfortunately, winter equals dry skin, stuffy noses, chapped lips, and for some, nosebleeds. If you don’t have a humidifier in your home, it’s time to invest in one. Humidifiers replace the water in the air to prevent the toll cold weather and dry air take on our bodies. If you have a whole house humidifier, make sure it is cleaned regularly and you replace the evaporator pad to make sure it works properly.
While some people need to mentally prepare for the cold winter months, everyone needs to physically prepare by making sure their home is optimized to withstand the winter. These simple precautions can make a big difference in how your house stands up this winter.
Although most of winterizing in your home you can do yourself, it’s best to let the experts at Comfortmate Heating and Air help. Call 1-800-AIR-REPAIR for more information about how Comfortmate can get your home ready for winter.