Autumn has just begun but it’s not too soon to start thinking about winter. Depending on where you live, the snow may start to fall soon. Now is the time to start thinking about what you need to do around the house to get ready for the fourth and final season of the year.
Here are four ways you can prepare your home for winter.
Clean the Furnace
Those very words may have made you shudder. We know it doesn’t sound like the most fun chore to perform around the house but if you want to save money on energy and electricity this winter, it is a must do.
Perhaps the most reluctant thing we do every year is switch on the furnace when it starts to get cold. But perhaps you will feel much better about flipping it on this winter if you make it more energy efficient by cleaning the sediment build-up inside. Cleaning and inspecting your furnace can also reduce or eliminate any fire hazards
You will also need to change the filter on a regular basis because a dirty filter will decrease air flow which, in turn, decreases energy efficiency. And if you’re in the market for a new furnace, be sure to purchase an energy-efficient model.
Cold Air Out, Warm Air In
Using your furnace or heating system to warm your home during cold weather means nothing if there are a bunch of air leaks in your home. These leaks allow warm air to escape through cracks which makes your heating system work much harder.
Your goal should be to seal cracks and openings with caulk and perform standard weather-stripping tasks on doors and windows.
Clean Those Gutters and Drains
You and your family had fun all summer long. You went to the beach. You went hiking. You took family trips. And during all those fun times, the debris in your gutters has grown. During the winter, clogged drains and gutters can form ice dams that can eventually prevent your drainage systems from working efficiently or properly.
This can lead to water seeping into your home. So now is the time to clean those gutters and drains now. Once the gutters are cleaned, run some water through them to make sure they are aligned properly. Misalignments can cause a myriad of problems and increase your energy costs.
Seal and Insulate Those Ducts
Here’s a question that some of you may not even be able to answer. Do you know where your ducts are? Ducts are the very definition of out of sight, out of mind. Chances are, your ducts are located in either the basement or attic.
If your home has a central heating system, improperly sealed and insulated ducts can lose about 20% of the air that moves through them. During the winter, this could mean a significant loss of warm air that is used to heat your home.
Make sure your ducts are sealed and insulated properly. By doing so, this could save you up to $120 per year in energy savings.
Cold temperatures are coming soon. Now is the time to clean your furnace, gutters and drains, seal your air leaks and insulate your ducts. The last thing you want to do is wait until the first snowflakes of the season start to fall.