Friday, October 30, 2015

Beat The Cold: How To Prepare Your Home From Fall To Winter

As fall comes screeching to a halt, winter is quickly approaching with no mercy. Personally, I am the type of person who puts off preparing for the winter until I am knee deep in snow taking the dog out for his 4 am bathroom break. 

Even if you're anticipating only ½ an inch of snow this season, preparing your home for winter with these simple steps will still save you time, energy, and money so a natural disaster doesn’t come knocking at your door.
Prepping Your Doors & Windows

If replacing all of your drafty doors and windows isn’t in the budget, insulating them is an affordable and effective way to lower your energy bills this winter.

You can pick up window insulation kits from your local hardware store or online. These kits typically come with heavy-duty, clear plastic sheets and double edged tape. You’ll simply line the tape around the outside of the door or window frame, then apply the sheets so they’re as tight as possible to reduce infiltration. To reduce wrinkles, run a blow dryer 1-inch from the film along the frame and window itself. Insulating and tight-fitting drapes are also a sure way your home remains warm and draft-free.  You can also use caulk or rubber weather sealing to eliminate cracks commonly found in door and window frames to ensure there’s zero leakage.

Clean Those Gutters

As the last leaf finally plummets to the ground, it’s time to remove all the leaves, twigs, grime and grit that has accumulated over the past several months. Neglecting to clean your gutters will only cause you and your wallet more problems as ice dams can develop, causing your drainage system to malfunction. If you thought that was bad, you may end up with water dripping onto your head while you sleep, as ice dams often cause leaks inside the home. Save yourself the stress and clean them thoroughly. Follow up by running water through your gutters and drains to ensure everything is in working order to avoid water and ice damage.

Furnace Upkeep

At the beginning of each season, you should replace your furnace filter to ensure it’s working effectively. If it’s an arctic winter, replacing the filter midway is best to ensure your furnace is always running at peak performance. If you’re unsure of what filter to use or how to replace it, consult with one of your local independent energy experts

Programmable Thermostat

Reducing energy usage is a must when you’re at home, but what about while you're away? To prevent wasting energy and walking into an igloo when you get home, utilize a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to pre-determine your heater settings for when you’re home and when you’re away. Doing so will take the workload off your furnace and greatly reduce your heating costs. 

The Sun

If it’s sunny during the day, open the curtains on your south-facing windows to allow the natural sunlight to heat your home. To contain the warmth, progressively pull the blinds and curtains prior to the sun setting.


So you’ve patched your windows and doors, but your home is still drafty. Adding insulation to your attic and crawlspaces will slow down heat transmission from inside to outside, therefore keeping your home warmer for longer periods of time.    

Show Me The Light

As daylight becomes more scarce, taking advantage of the right lighting is crucial. Since you don’t want to stumble to get to your front door every night, invest in ENERGY SAVER products and bulbs. Since you need to be prepared for rain and snow, ENERGY STAR also makes CFL and LED flood lights that are ultra energy-saving. As an extra perk, some ENERGY STAR products come equipped with automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors. To also bring in the holiday season with cheer, use LED holiday lights to decorate so you can spend more time with your loved ones, and not worry about your energy bills.

The Energy Experts

Each month The Energy Experts present a blog that shares helpful information on a wide-range of topics that involves the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these important topics.