Fall is underway, and that cold weather has hit us fast! Even with recent temperature drops, it’s not too late to prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead. Here are some tips for a warm and efficient winter.
Batten down the hatches
To keep drafts to a minimum, check for worn weather stripping around your doors and windows. Replace weather stripping where you can, and caulk any remaining gaps. If any pipes or ducts travel through exterior walls, be sure to use caulking and weather stripping around all entry points. Avoid plumbing mishaps by draining all outdoor faucets and hoses, and ensuring all water drains away from your home. Identify problem pipes that may be prone to freezing, and consider using heat tape to keep them warm. Ensure everyone in your household knows how to turn off water at the source, to minimize damage if a pipe bursts.
Check your heating systems
If you haven’t done so yet, now is a good time to have a professional out for a routine check of your heating system. This should include vacuuming vents and other heating components, and checking to see if the furnace filters needs changing. If you’ve got a fire place, you also want to have that inspected and cleaned by a professional. If you can, take the time to prepare fresh firewood. Stack and cover it in a good location in the yard, away from your home. Don’t forget to set your thermostat a bit lower when you’re out of the house for more energy savings!
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Most house fires happen in the winter. With the furnace blasting, fires blazing, and homes closed up tight, carbon monoxide also becomes a much bigger hazard. Check all of the smoke detectors in your home to make sure they’re working, and change their batteries if you haven’t in a while. It’s also a good idea to keep fresh batteries on hand. Do the same for your carbon monoxide detector. Don’t have one? Check with your gas utility - they may provide one for free!
Clean out your dryer lint
2,900 dryer fires are reported each year in the United States. Clearly, cleaning out your dryer lint is an important chore you shouldn’t skip. This chore becomes especially important in the winter, as the heavier fabrics you wear to keep warm produce more lint. Properly inspect your lint screen before every load, but don’t stop there. Plenty of lint particles make their way past that filter, so don’t forget to disconnect your dry from the vents and use a brush and vacuum to clear build up.
Reverse your ceiling fans
While ceiling fans are typically thought of as a tool to keep you cool in the summer, they can also help keep energy costs down in the winter. There is a switch on most ceiling fans to reverse their direction, which should leave them spinning counter clockwise. Flip the switch to counteract rising warm air, pushing it down to keep your home warm. Less warm air is able to escape out of chimneys, and your thermostat doesn’t have to work so hard, keeping your utility costs down with a flip of the switch.
Now that you’re ready to ride out the winter in your cozy warm home, cut down on the amount you need to leave it! With your house sealed up, you’ll want to keep your air filter fresh to catch all the dust that has nowhere to go. Check out our convenient air filter subscription service, and get your filters without having to brave that winter weather!