If you’ve lived in Western New York for any length of time, you’d know that it usually starts to snow about the second week of October. This year, however, we have had an extended summer. The months of September and October were warmer, sunnier and more pleasant than normal. However, as November and December creep up on us, the weather has changed. It’s that time of year to winterize your home. If you have forced air, when’s the last time you replaced your furnace filter? Make it a regular habit; put it on your calendar to remind yourself when it’s time to change it. During the winter you don’t want a dirty filter because that restricts air flow while costing you more money to heat your house since your furnace has to work harder.
Cut Down On Your Heating Bill
Do you have ceiling fans? They have a switch that can be changed to run them “in reverse.” By changing the direction of the blades so that they turn clockwise, you can use your ceiling fans to make your house warmer this winter. The fans push the hot air that rises back down into the living space while helping you cut your overall heating bill– nice!
Prevent Pipes From Freezing
For those with hoses and pipes near the exterior of the house, now’s the time to drain them of any water so that water doesn’t freeze up. Also, shut off water valves. Turn off exterior water spigots. Remove in-window A/C units and store them for the winter because if you don’t you’re letting cold air drafts sneak into your place.
Improve Energy Efficiency
Buy and use “draft snakes” on the bottom of your doors to the exterior. These will keep out cold air. They’re typically made from fabric and filled with sand or kitty litter so they stay in place and have some weight to them.
If you have storm doors and windows, now’s the time to install them to help seal drafts and reduce air flow. You can also use window insulation kits, which involve plastic sheets that go over windows (or certain doors) to further keep cold out of the house. You might want to invest in some “ low e-film” to apply directly to your window glass for further help in that regard. If you notice any gaps around your windows and doors, use some caulk and/or weatherstripping. When you prevent air leaks, you make your home much more energy efficient.
Just like there’s a time for spring cleaning, now’s the time for winterizing your home. Protect your investment by preparing it for the year’s coldest months. Good luck!