Winter-Proofing Your Home the Smart Way
As the temperatures begin to chill, many regions of the country face snow and rain that can wreck havoc on utility bills and your overall home comfort. We have a few questions you should consider when assessing how prepared your home is for cold weather.
Is your home leaking?
The most obvious way to keep your home cozy in winter is to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
A leak can present itself in many forms but essentially it allows for the outside air into your home. Examples include:
- Gaps under doors and around windows
- Poor wall insulation
- Gaps around plumbing, wiring, light fixtures and flues
- Un-sealed joints in heating/air conditioning ducts
- Poor insulation between attics/basements and main areas of the house
- Chimneys that cannot be closed
According to the Department of Energy, the average home loses between 5 and 30 percent of its energy due to these leaks. Most hardware stores sell the necessary fix-it options including caulking, insulation and draft guards to help minimize leaking.
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Is your furnace working… well?
Just because you seal up any possible gaps and insulation issues doesn’t automatically turn your home into a cozy oasis. Regular furnace maintenance will help keep everything running smoothly. You should regularly replace your furnace filters before (and often during) the winter months as your furnace works overtime. A dirty filter will lower your airflow and make your heating system work harder (less efficient). You can choose to use washable filters or disposable ones.
Is water, snow and ice being diverted away from your home?
This includes clearing out gutters and making sure water is easily and freely draining away from your home. Clogged gutters can cause snow and ice to build up on/next to your roof and walls which will affect the warmth of your home not to mention put you at risk for damage. Make sure that puddles are diverted away from your home’s foundation as well.
Key Take Away
Granted, everyone wants a warm and cozy home this winter and taking the necessary steps to ensure that your home is properly insulated, heated efficiently and free from debris will help ease your concerns but remember it will also help your bank account. You will spend less money in utilities and damage repairs in the long run is definitely the way to enjoy the winter months.
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