It's Not Too Late to Winterize Your Home
The official beginning of winter is nearly upon us, but cold weather has already been creeping in, so if your November to do list didn't end up having enough room for preparing your home for wintry conditions, don't worry! It's not too late to winterize your home, even this late in the fall. Since the number 8 makes a snowman, we thought we’d share 8 great ways to invest just a little bit of time and money to give you peace of mind during the long, cold winter ahead.
- Programmable thermostats can cost as little as $25, but they'll pay for themselves many times over. Why pay to heat your home when you're away at work? Just program the thermostat to lower the temperature when you're gone. You'll save money and waste less energy every day.
- Your house temperature when you're home also affects your heating bill, so if you can work your way down even a few degrees, the lower your sticker shock will be when the bill comes at the end of the month. Try setting the thermostat just one degree cooler and letting your body get used to the new normal temperature for a week or so, then drop it another degree. If you're accustomed to 72 degrees or more, then 68 degrees might sound arctic. But it's really not once you get used to it! If guests are coming over and you're worried about them being uncomfortable, you can always bump the thermostat back up while you have company.
- Furnace maintenance is a must if you want to have a truly winterized home. Local heating and cooling companies can give your furnace a tune-up that will pay for itself by making your system run as efficiently as possible. Make sure to change your filter at least every 90 days and consider hiring a professional service provider like AdvantaClean to thoroughly clean your air duct system. Not only will you save money on your bills, you'll be breathing cleaner, fresher air throughout the winter months when you aren't letting as much air inside as you probably do in the spring and summer when your windows and doors are open more.
- Hot water temperature is another great way to get your home ready for the winter and save on your utility bills. By lowering your heater's setting to 120 degrees, you still get the hot water you need but you’ll save on your costs. Just double-check your dishwasher to ensure that this temperature will be satisfactory for your particular model. Also make sure to insulate your hot water pipes because this will reduce the amount of water you have to run before getting hot water at the faucet.
- Sealing cracks around your windows and doors with insulation will put more money in your pocket this winter. Expanding foam, caulk and weatherstripping products don't cost very much at all, and they'll keep the ground level of your home far more comfortable by preventing cold air from slipping in between the cracks. Visit your local home improvement store to see the wide variety of products available for winterizing these areas.
- Opening your drapes during the day, especially on the southern side of your home, will allow the sun to do some of the heating for you. Sunlight also freshens up your space naturally and literally brightens your day, not just visually but even physically because of the vitamins it causes your body to produce. If you live in an area that's plagued by a "permacloud" during winter, then this option obviously may not be your best one, but whenever the sun does peek through the clouds, make sure to pull those shades and drapes back to let the rays inside. This will also be a reminder that winter doesn't last forever, even though it can feel like it sometimes!
- If you have a fireplace, make sure to close the damper so heat isn't escaping and cold isn't coming in. Also make sure to have a certified professional inspect your natural or gas fireplaces for safety each year to give you the peace of mind that your home is being heated safely and efficiently.
- A final great way to minimize your bills during the winter is to unplug any appliances or other electronics that you're no longer using, or the ones which you rarely use. A great deal of the electricity used in the U.S. goes to devices that are sitting in "standby" mode. So if you don't watch that old TV in the spare room very much, for example, just unplug it. Also try to get in the habit of turning off lights when you're leaving a room, or investing in a smart home system that can help you live more efficiently. Many systems now even let you control the temperature of your home or your lights with the touch of an app. So even if you've gone to work or away on a trip and you forgot to turn something off, you can do it right from your smart phone.
There's still time to save money this winter! So get started on these 8 great winterizing solutions today.
More info? For more information on ways to winterize and maintain your home's HVAC system and ductwork, check out our other post, How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
Call 877.800.2382 to speak with a knowledgeable customer service representative and/or to schedule an air duct cleaning with AdvantaClean today!