Winter is around the corner, which means now is the best time to prepare your home for the upcoming colder months. Our winter savings and comfort checklist will help you lower your utility bills, protect your house, and keep your family warm all season long. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Here’s a great tip if your ceiling fans are equipped with a reverse switch. Once you’ve turned your furnace on for the winter, use your fan’s reverse switch to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction. This will create an updraft and push down the warm air from the ceiling into the room. This is especially helpful if your home has high ceilings!
2. Check Your Roof and Gutters
Look for damaged, missing or loose shingles and have them repaired as soon as possible. This will prevent leakage during a winter storm or from melting snow. Additionally, remove any leaves, pine needles or other debris from your roof as this promotes deterioration of the shingles.
Don’t forget to clean the gutters as well! A clogged gutter will cause water to back up on the house, damaging your roof, siding, and wood trim. A gutter full of debris can also cause ice dams and leakage.
3. Check Windows and Doors
Check the upper and lower sash of all windows, including storm windows, to make sure they are locked. This may seem obvious, but many homeowners forget to lock their windows and sometimes even to close them. This can result in extremely high energy bills and safety issues.
Another important step is to thoroughly clean your window sills and weep holes. Closing windows with debris in the sills can damage the window and leave small gaps for cold air to come in. Now is also the ideal time to clean the outdoor glass on your windows before it gets too cold to do so. This will also allow more sunlight to shine through, which will aid in warming your home throughout the cold winter months.
Check your doors for drafts. Since doors expand in the heat and contract in the cold, small gaps can occur in the winter, allowing cold air to come in and warm air to go out. If you can’t seem to find where the cold is coming from, turn off the lights in your home during the day and check for light coming through around the edges of your door. If light is coming through, chances are that’s where the cold is coming in as well. The best way to solve this issue is to replace the door altogether.
Related Read: Why Winter Is the Perfect Time to Replace Patio Doors
4. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
This is something every homeowner should do at this time of year! During a tune-up, a licensed technician will make small adjustments, such as lubricating moving parts, inspecting and cleaning condensate drains, and testing the unit’s starting capabilities. Small problems can be detected before they turn into larger, more expensive repairs. Regular maintenance also leads to fewer unexpected breakdowns.
5. Call a Chimney Sweep
A professional chimney sweep will ensure your chimney and vents are clean and in good condition. This will prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. They’ll also make sure your chimney isn’t letting in cold air, which will reduce your utility bills and increase comfort!