Prepare for Winter With Our Checklist
As winter approaches, it is time to turn our attention to what we can do to ensure the safe operation of our heating appliances as well as look at ways to help conserve energy. Here are a few tips that can help insure a safe, warm and efficient winter in your home.
- Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk. Even small leaks can add as much as 10% to your heating bill.
- Cleaning gutters is a chore no one looks forward to, but an excessive buildup of leaves and other debris can cause water to seep back into your home, resulting in unwanted water damage. As winter approaches, it is a good time to inspect and clean your gutters to ensure their optimum performance during the wet, cold winter months.
- Have your furnace inspected by a professional to ensure it will operate properly when needed, and change the filter. A dirty filter will cut down on the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.
- Check your fireplace to ensure it will operate safely and properly — this might include contacting a chimney sweep if it has not been cleaned recently.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you do not already have them, it is recommended that they be installed. Remember to check the batteries and to replace them if necessary.
- Remember to drain outdoor hoses, faucets and sprinkler systems to help prevent pipes from bursting. If you have unprotected pipes in your attic, it is a good idea to wrap them to help prevent a rupture of those pipes as well. You may want to consider a programmable thermostat.
- Current models allow you to set your heat to allow the home to be warm while you are awake and allow for lower temperatures while you are asleep or away from home during the day.