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Quick Tips to Winterize Your Home

                                                                                     

Fall is here meaning winter is right around the corner. I wanted to provide you with Quick Tips to Winterize Your Home so you are sure to be ready when the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall!

Most of these tips are really simple, cost little, and can help reduce your energy bill – thus helping both your wallet and the environment!

1.       Insulate your attic. One of the easiest ways to save some money is to ensure that you have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. The rule of thumb is that if you can see your ceiling joists (the wooden beams), you don’t have enough because those are often shorter than 12 inches.

2.       Turn off exterior water lines. Chances are you won’t be using any of the water faucets outside of your home, so shut the valve that allows water to those exterior bibs. This prevents the water inside from freezing and cracking your pipes.

3.       Wrap your water boiler. Since it’ll be cold, it’s more important than ever to invest in a water heater blanket and warp your water heater so it loses less heat into the ambient air.

4.       Open the blinds in sunny rooms. Be sure to keep the blinds open on any rooms that get a lot of sun, ever little bit of extra heat can help keep those bills down.

5.       Get a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can help you save a ton of money by only turning on when you most need it. All HVAC systems work the same way – they are either on or off (there’s no low, medium, or high intensity setting). If you can keep your system off when you’re not home or when you’re asleep, you can save yourself a lot of money. They are easy to install and often break-even (cost vs. savings) within the first year.

6.       Consider lowering the temperature setting on your thermostat. A lower temperature means the system is on less, so try lowering the temperature a degree at a time. You’ll either adjust or reach a point where the temperature is far too low. Either way, you’ll find your sweet spot where your wallet meets your body’s needs. There’s no sense dropping the temperature so low that you get sick, that just doesn’t make financial sense. And put on a sweater!

7.       Replace your HVAC air filter. During the winter, when the system will run more often, it’s good to replace it monthly so that you don’t have a dirty air filter ruining the efficiency of the system.

8.       Flip the switch on your ceiling fan. This one is really easy, just flip the rotation direction on your ceiling fans. As hot air rises in the winter, you want the fan to blow upward and slowly. This circulates the hot air back down into the room. When it becomes warmer, you want the fans to blow downward and quickly to cool you off.

9.       Install window insulators. Window insulators are simply plastic sheets you tape up over windows to add an extra layer of protection from the cold. This is especially effective if you have drafty windows as the head from your home can easily escape from those spaces. If you have especially drafty or old windows (especially if they’re single pane), consider replacing them.

Follow these simple tips and you will be well-prepared for the long, winter months!

Until next time,

Joe

Published Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7:04 PM by Joe Prunty

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