Like it or not, winter is just 10 days away. If you haven’t already prepped your home for winter and freezing temps, there’s still time. Use our handy checklist to make sure you and your home are ready for winter weather:
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans so the blades rotate clockwise. Keep on a low speed to push air down from the ceiling into your room.
- Have your furnace surfaced at the beginning of the season and make sure you change the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Lower your thermostat or use a programmable thermostat to save on energy costs.
- Remove window screens and install storm windows and doors, if you have them.
- Shut off exterior water sources and cover the faucets to prevent freezing.
- Insulate exposed pipes to prevent burst pipes.
- Insulate your hot water heater.
- Block drafts from doors and windows and seal cracks with door sweeps, door gaskets, calking and weather stripping.
- Have your chimney cleaned annually to decrease your risk of fire and buildup and residue.
- Remove any portable air conditioners and cover condensing units.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and free of debris. This will be particularly helpful when the heavy rains come.
Make sure your home is ready for the changing seasons with this handy fall home maintenance checklist from Team Marti:
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries.
- Replace furnace filters.
- Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors.
- Install storm doors and windows.
- Check weather stripping around your garage door.
- Clean your humidifiers.
- Reverse direction of ceiling fans.
- Clean and repair gutters and downspouts.
- Drain outside faucets and hoses.
- Make repairs or repaint peeling or blistering paint.
- Have your roof inspected and schedule repairs.
- Clean and store lawn furniture.
- Prepare your lawn and gardens for winter.
- Check your driveway, sidewalk and patio for cracks.
Fall ended a bit early for us this year, and winter weather is already at our door. That means cold nights, and higher heating bills. Here are 10 tips for keeping your home toasty warm this winter without driving up your heating bill.
- Change your furnace filter. During the heating season, it is a good idea to change your furnace filters monthly, or try washable filters and clean them as recommended by the manufacturer. This simple, affordable fix can keep you more comfortable while also saving energy.
- Reverse the direction on ceiling fans. By switching the setting on your ceiling fan to clockwise, your fan can push warmer air toward the floor. This is particularly helpful if you have high ceilings.
- Lower your thermostat. For every one degree you lower the temperature, you can save approximately 3 percent on your heating bill. Also, use a programmable thermostat, so you can lower the temperature even further when you are sleeping and away from home. Set it up to warm up your home before you are scheduled to return for the evening.
- Lower your hot water temperature. Adjust your hot water heater from the standard 140 degrees to 120 degrees and consider taking showers, not baths. Showers use much less water.
- Seal air leaks. By controlling the amount of outside air that comes into your home, you can help control moisture and keep your home warm in the winter. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows, use foam sealant on larger window and baseboard gaps, and keep the fireplace flue damper closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Click here for more air leakage tips from Energy.gov.
- Install door sweeps. To prevent cold air from entering your home from underneath doors, make sure that each door and threshold are adequate. If not, install a door sweep along the bottom of the door.
- Take advantage of the sun. When the sun is shining during the day, open drapes and blinds to soak up as much of that natural energy as you can.
- Keep heating vents clear. Sometimes furniture is inadvertently placed in front of heating vents, preventing warm air from warming a room. Move furniture away from vents so it can circulate properly around the room.
- Use space heaters where appropriate. For small spaces, sometimes a space heater can help heat the room. Be careful though. Space heaters can be fire hazards, so choose the make and model carefully and make sure it is always attended. Check the energy consumption of the heater you select too. Sometimes they use more energy than you might expect.
- Use window insulation film. Using a pre-packaged kit, put plastic shrink film on the inside of your windows to keep the cold out and the heat in!
This Old House, https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/keeping-warm-less
The Art of Manliness, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/11/14/how-to-keep-your-house-warm-in-the-winter/
Apartment Therapy, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-ways-to-insulate-your-windows-for-winter-37643
For those of us who don’t have the luxury of central air, it is still possible to stay in cool in Washington this summer. You can buy a portable air conditioner, a room air conditioner or you can install ceiling fans. In this article by Houselogic, you can learn how to keep your house up to 8 degrees cooler for a minimum investment. Here are a few tips:
- Energy Star-rated fans use about half the energy of a non-rated ceiling fan.
- Size matters so choose the right fan size for the room.
- Prices for ceiling fans range from $20 to $100 for a basic model, and average $200-600 for an upgraded model with a longer warranty.