Money Saving Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

rolling-snow-shovelCooler temperatures and falling leaves can mean only one thing—winter is right around the corner! Don’t be caught unprepared, start by making sure your home is ready inside and out for the harsh weather conditions ahead.  Below are a few ways to winterize your home and lower your energy bills.

Furnace and Fireplace Maintenance

  • Stock up on furnace filters and change them every month
  • Install a programmable thermostat if your home doesn’t already have one. This allows proper control of the heat (68 degrees in winter) and can save big bucks on energy bills during the winter.
  • Inspect the chimney for proper opening and closing of the damper. Also, clean out any old logs and soot from previous fires.

Winter Equipment

  • Stock up on snow shovels, rakes, and bags of ice/melt sand
  • Tightly secure crawlspaces and clean leaves or heavy debris away from the exterior perimeter of the house
  • Check for foundation cracks, dry rot or insect infestation. Catching these problems early can save a lot of costly repairs.

Windows and Doors

  • Check all windows and doors for air/moisture leaks.  Be sure to replace any worn out weather stripping where needed.
  • Add extra insulation to the attic to keep the heat from escaping through the roof

Avoid Plumbing Disasters

  • Know where the water main is located. In the case of  an emergency, you can quickly shut it off.
  • If leaving for vacation or going out of town to see relatives, leave the heat on at least 55 degrees
  • If temperatures dip below freezing in your area, leave your faucets lightly dripping overnight. Also, open cabinets with pipes in them to allow warm air to circulate around them.

~Monica Breeden