Winter weather is inevitable, but you can prepare your house to better deal with the changes in temperature. In colder months the biggest concern can be keeping the heat in and the cold harsh air out. In order to do that there are some steps, you will need to take to move your home into winter mode. Here are a few ideas.
Search for Cracks
You may know that any crack in your home can lead to the loss of warm air and the sneaky entrance of cold air. But did you ever think that there could be dozens of cracks right around your windows and doors? Even if they were properly caulked during installation, normal wear and tear can cause materials to deteriorate, and allow for cold air to seep in.
You can visually inspect around doorways and window frames to find most cracks you will be able to fix yourself. Sealing off these cracks is a simple and wallet-friendly. By purchasing caulking at your local home improvement store you can close off these crevices creating a tightly sealed home. Pay attention not only the outdoor cracks but also the indoor ones as well.
Get Your Furnace Serviced
If you can not remember when you last got your furnace cleaned it is probably time for a check by the professionals. Dirty unkempt equipment can cause excessive strain on your furnace, increase heating costs and reduce the life of your equipment.
The best place to start your furnace
maintenance is with the filter. You can actually replace one-inch pleated
filters once a month by yourself.
Beyond just your filter, a professional HVAC specialist will be able to perform a full maintenance check and cleaning. A thorough cleaning can keep your furnace running at its best and also find problems before they harm your furnace, your home, or you. To make sure your furnace is operating at full efficiency, a specialist will usually do the following
- Inspect the burner flames
- Vacuum out the burner and blower cavities and clean away dust or debris in and around the unit
- Remove the blower and its blades for cleaning
- Clean the flame sensor
- Check the flue for gaps or dents and make sure it is venting properly to the outdoors
If your home has beautiful wooden floors you could be losing heat through them during the winter as well. While tearing up your floor to add more insulation it may be out of your price range, there are still steps you can take to prevent that loss of heat. By using rugs and carpeting you can quickly add a layer of insulation to any wooden floor. This also adds a touch of sophistication and style to your home.
Install Energy Efficient Curtains
If you know your windows are leaking air but don’t have the money to replace them, energy efficient curtains are a great option. These curtains will help you keep heat locked into your home during the winter and even help during the summer months as well. Energy efficient curtains are thick and provide a nice barrier between you and the cold that may still make it through your windows.
For the best benefits, you will want to use your curtains strategically. Open the curtains during the day if the window is receiving sunlight. Any use of natural sunlight during cold weather will help reduce the need to run your home furnace. Close the curtains as soon as the sun has set to keep all the heat from escaping through the window. Closing curtains could actually save you up to 10 percent in heat loss.
Getting Your Windows in Order
Your windows can be letting your heat escape due to cracks in the window to frame connections or single-paned designs. If you have tried fixing the caulking and tried to add thick curtains to your windows but are still suffering from cold drafts and high energy bills, it may be time to replace them.
Choosing a reputable professional to replace your windows is highly recommended. You want to have the installment done properly to prevent more leaks and cracks you are spending money to fix. When it comes to replacement window cost your local window professionals should be able to offer a wide range of pricing options in an effort to fit into most budgets.
Reprogram your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a creative way to keeping your utility bills low, and your efficiency high- if used properly. Once the cold chill starts to creep in you want to take the time to reprogram your thermostat. Having a programmable thermostat can help you utilize your heat only when you need it, instead of all day long.
If you work out of the home, you could set a Monday through Friday schedule of 9 am – 3 pm while you are at work the temperature is lowered to about 62 degrees. Then at night, when you get home you can bump it up to 68 or 70 degrees. This recommendation may seem a little chilly, so adjust accordingly for comfort. Don’t be scared to throw on a hoodie or sweatpants to bear this temperature. It may save you a few extra dollars! Keep in mind if you have pets at home you should not lower the thermostat to a point where they may be uncomfortable.
Use these tips to prepare your house for the cold, and create a more comfortable, cozy home for you and your loved ones this winter.