When the summer air begins to cool down, it's time to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. Winterizing can keep your home running efficiently and save on heating costs. Get started today with these helpful tips:
1. Service your furnace. Leaky ducts and vents are big energy drainers. Have your furnace serviced by a professional at least once a year. Also remember to change air filters regularly to maintain air quality and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
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2. Seal in the heat. Cracks around doors and windows can cause heat to escape at a rapid rate. Replace weather stripping yearly and re-caulk windows and doorways to seal in the heat. Even if you've caulked in the past, normal shifting and expanding of your house over time can create new gaps.
3. Install a programmable thermostat. You can waste a lot of money heating your home during the times when no one is at home. A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically adjust to a lower temperature during the day when you're usually out and at night when you're sleeping.
4. Buy a water heater blanket. Water heater blanket kits are inexpensive and easy to install. This simple addition can make all the difference in the amount of heat lost by your water heater, particularly if it's stored in an unheated area.
5. Check your insulation. Poor insulation can cause more heat loss in your home than anything else. Make sure your walls are well insulated, especially if you own an older home, which may not be updated to meet current standards.
Live in a colder weather climate? Here are some more things to consider:
6. Maintain lawn equipment. Walk through your garage or backyard to inspect your equipment and get it ready for winter. Here are a few things to look for:
- Drain the garden hose to prevent freezing
- Clean and put away gardening tools
- Drain gas from lawnmowers
- Replace worn rakes and snow shovels
7. Blow out your sprinkler system.
If you live in a climate with freezing temperatures, winterizing your sprinkler system is key. First turn off the water. Then open each valve to release pressure in the pipes and drain the water out of any components that might freeze. For help, contact a local lawn service company.
8. Ready your fireplace. Now is the time to call a chimney sweep to clean out excess soot and make sure the fireplace damper is in good working order. You might want to also get some firewood so you're ready to use your fireplace when needed.
You can use this article as a checklist. Also consider touring both the inside and outside of your home to identify anything that needs maintenance and repairs. Use this time of year to ensure that your home is working well and is ready for the coming months.