Ways to Prepare Your House Before Winter
Brace yourselves for the cold, it’s time to get your house winter ready. By preparing early and being more energy efficient, you’ll be able to save more on your energy bill once the first frost hits.
Check your heating systems
Make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly with regular maintenance that will help it last for years to come.
- Test run the heat by turning up the thermostat to assure the furnace will kick on. If the heat comes on in a few minutes, you can set it back to its original setting. And if it doesn’t or there’s other issues, you can try self diagnosing it or calling a technician to play it safe.
- Replace or clean the air filter for better air quality and efficiency. It’s a quick fix once you have the right filter in hand.
- Check your carbon monoxide detector to ensure it’s in working order with enough battery. A carbon monoxide leak from a furnace or other fuel burning appliance can be life threatening and should be taken seriously.
- Get it professionally inspected to be confident everything is in order. You can also sign up for an annual agreement.
Seal doors and windows
Keep all the warm air in by sealing any openings in your home like under the windows and doors. Your furnace shouldn’t work hard just for it to slip through the cracks. By preventing drafts, you can save up to 5 to 30 percent per year in your energy bill according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here’s some budget- friendly ways to prevent from air leaking out:
- Weatherstrips come in various materials such as vinyl, felt, or foam and range in durability and price. Some are also easier to install than others. When choosing what’s right, keep in mind the amount of foot traffic and friction it would have to withstand.
- Caulk is flexible enough to seal any small cracks on a window frame. Depending on the compound and its strength, you can clean it off once it gets warmer outside.
- Draft snakes are cloth door stoppers filled with insulated material like rice, beans, or sand. You can buy or sew them yourself into a fun color, material, or pattern of your choice.
Clean out those gutters
Gutters can get easily piled with leaves, twigs, and debris throughout the fall, so be sure to clean out all the gunk. When water overflows without proper drainage, it can cause the house to have decay, rust, or leaks.Tighten any loose gutters and spouts so it’s strong enough to hold the weight of snow or ice.
Clean the chimney and fireplace
There’s no better feeling than sitting cozy by the fireplace. But before you do, the chimney and fireplace should be thoroughly cleaned and looked at especially if it’s been dormant for months. It should be free of any obstructions like bird nests or flammable material, and the smoke should be able to flow right up. The bricks and mortar shouldn’t be cracked, crumbling, or missing. A chimney sweep company can clean and inspect everything to confirm it’s safe to use.
Save with City Power and Gas
Before the winter chill hits, lock in lower rates on natural gas with City Power and Gas so you can stay warm and save more this year.