Prepare your home for the cold!

It may be hard to believe that winter is coming with balmy temperatures on the first day of fall, But now is the time to prepare your home for the cold months ahead.

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Make sure your windows and doors are properly prepared by:

  • Inspecting cracked or broken glass, examining door frames for signs a decay, leaks or drafts and checking for a draft around your windows and doors.
  • Installing storm doors and windows before it gets too cold.
  • Checking the draft around your doors and windows. Caulk holes and add weather-stripping, if needed.

Another home-preparedness tip most people miss is making sure their insulation is in good shape. Follow these tips to make sure it’s in adequate condition:

  • Check the attic in your home and make sure it has insulation, it can be the most cost-effective way to cut heating costs. If you have an older house, it might not have adequate insulation, or maybe not any at all.
  • Weatherstrip and insulate the hatch to your attic to prevent warm air from escaping from the top of your house.
  • Seal holes in your attic that lead to the house. Any hole that leads from your basement or lower level to an attic will waste energy. Cover holes with spray foam and foam board if necessary.

Finally, make sure your heating vents are in good condition before it breaks.

  • Make sure to inspect the vents to make sure they are open and unblocked by furniture or other items.
  • Close the damper to your fireplace (if you have one) once a fire is completely out.
  • Replace your heater’s air filter if necessary. Your heating system will use less energy and last longer. If you have a heating system that’s older than 15 years old, consider updating it with a newer, more efficient model.

Other quick things you can do include:

  • Reverse your ceiling fans. If your fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on the heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down heated air from the ceiling.
  • Clean your gutters. If they’re full of leaves and other debris, they can damage roofing, siding and wood trim, which can cause leaks that feed into your house.
  • Turn off exterior faucets. If you don’t drain the water in your pipes, they can freeze, which will cause them to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and drain all the water remaining in your faucet.
  • Restock your cold weather equipment before you need it. Don’t wait for the first storm to restock essentials like rock salt.

For more tips, visit CUB’s energy efficiency page.

Want more information? Read these:

U.S. Department of Energy 

Consumer Energy Center

Cost-effective tips

Kiplinger

 

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