Winterizing Your Home

Winterizing your home before the freeze gets to your cozy interior.

Getting your home ready for the winter is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy costs. The few items outlined below can save you lots of time and money later.

You will need to check your furnace to make sure the thermostat is in proper working order. You'll also need to change the filter before you need to use it and then every month throughout the winter.

Make sure the caulking around all the windows and the doors of your home are in good repair. Check for peeling and cracks in the caulking. Replace the caulking, if necessary.

If you have a fireplace, before starting a fire this winter, make sure to have your fireplace cleaned. A fire could start if a bird has built a nest inside the chimney or simply if the chimney is dirty with soot.

Along with your fireplace, checking your fire detectors is of utmost importance. Are they in good working order? Do they need fresh batteries? Even they work, you should change them at least once a year, do it now. If you don't have one, buy one. You should have one near the kitchen and one in the hallway near your bedrooms.

Now is also a good time to think about getting a carbon monoxide detector. If you already have one, check to be sure it is working and go ahead and put new batteries now, you should change them every year. The old batteries are probably still good and would work in a battery operated clock, so you won't waste them. Carbon monoxide odors are deadly and this simple device can save lives.

Inspect the foundation of your home for cracks. Repair any cracks you find using heavy caulk or ready-mix cement. This will prevent any cold air from seeping into your home and save you money in energy costs.

Install a door sweep to keep the warm air from escaping your home. These are very easy to install and inexpensive. Another thing you can use to prevent drafts from door gaps is a door 'cozy'. It is a pillow about 2-1/2 inches high and 36 inches long. You keep it in front of the door to stop drafts from coming into your home.

Clean the heating ducts and vents throughout your home. This will ensure that there are no blockages in them, thus making sure your furnace doesn't need to do any extra work to keep your home warm. Another benefit of cleaning the duct is the air in your home will be cleaner. This should be done at least once every five years.

Clean your rain gutters. Debris in your gutters may clog them, causing water to back up. If the temperature drops to freezing, standing water may freeze causing your gutters to crack, while keeping a block of ice surrounding your home.

If income is a factor, check with your local utility company and see if they have a free or lowcost "weatherization" program or for energy assistance with your utility bills. This is can be an easy way to have some of these tasks checked out for you, as well as saving you some money.

While these may be time consuming tasks, it is much better to do them before winter is upon you. The energy you expend now will be paid back in full by the energy savings you will experience this winter.

© High Speed Ventures 2011