Whether you are a home owner or looking to own a home in the future, preparing your home in between seasons is an important step to take. Now that fall is officially here, it's time to make sure you stay warm and cozy during those dark nights. The steps listed below will help your home stay energy efficient throughout the season and protect your beloved investment for years to come. From DIY projects to calling your local repair man these are a few of our energy effient ways to get ready for winter!
1) Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Since heat rises the fan will produce an updraft and push heated air from the ceiling down into the room. Such a small change can really make a difference if you have the fan running for part of the winter. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings. Keep the fan on low and you may be able to bump your thermostat down a degree or two.
2) Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save up to $180 a year on fuel costs according to EnergyStar. This feature can save fuel by automatically lowering (or raising) your home’s temperature. Having the ability to change the setting while you are away, stuck in traffic, or if there is a sudden change in the weather can be a life-saver.
3) Prevent Ice Dams
Preventing ice dams can be a great way to ensure less damage to your pipes and exterior of your house. Ice can cause cracks in your sidewalk, driveway or potentially crack your gutters. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from your patio or deck.
4) Replace Filters
This is an important tip for any season and should be done either monthly or on a regular basis to keep your home efficient. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them even more often. This is a great and simple solution to keep your air clean. Head over to any home service store with measurements or the packaging from your last filter to make sure you get the right one!
5) Inspect the Roof
Depending on the type of roof you have you will want to check for dampness, breaking, cracking or missing shingles or bending or drooping sections. A quick scan of your ceiling in the home along with a scan of the top of your house can be a life-saver when the snow and ice start to pile up. If you see anything specious a call to your local repair man can save you in the long run.
6) Insulate Hot-Water Pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature allowing you to lower your water temperature setting. This is a great DIY project if you can reach all the pipes. Measure the pipes and snap some photos to take to your local hardware store to get all the supplies you need.
7) Caulk Around Doors and Windows
Gaps between siding and window or door frames can let a lot of cold air in throughout the winter season. Even if the crack looks tiny, patching these up can save a lot of money down the road. Think about adding in a draft guard to your front and back down to keep the cold air out!
8) Restock Essentials
Depending on the part of the country you live in will determine the extent of this list. For the northern parts of the United States, you will want some bags of salt, snow shovels and flashlights for the winter storms. For those in the south, the roads can get treacherous, so you will want to stock up on cans of food, candles and other essentials to get you though a couple of days/nights at home. A great tip is to keep an emergency kit in the car. An extra blanket, first aid kit and water can make all the difference in case another icemageddon hits!
9) Turn Off and Cover Exterior Faucets
Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains. Store the hoses in a shed or basement to keep them from cracking. A small Styrofoam cover can be a great idea to keep any ice from forming on the edges.
10) Store the Patio Furniture
When the wildflowers and sunshine creeps through again in March or April you will want to be ready! Make sure you store all your outdoor furniture properly, so you aren’t disappointed when you dig everything out for their hiding spots in the Spring.
Wooden furniture, patio furniture, camping furniture: pack it all up to keep nearby when the sunny days arrive or simply cover and enjoy during all 4-seasons!