Autumn is here and with it comes the smell of fireplaces, pumpkins and haystacks on front porches and unpacking our fur-lined gloves and sweaters. But the onset of winter should also have us beginning the task of winterizing our home. By fixing minor issues, we can save on our utility bill and make our family more comfortable through the winter months. Start your winterizing process by following these simple recommendations:
- As the temperature begins to drop, the small crevices in windows and doors can bring in a wintry breeze. Avoid this by caulking your windows, doors and vents with a caulk gun. Use weather-resistant caulk for the outside leaks. Experts recommend using masonry sealer for bricks which expand and contract when freezing or thawing. Weather strip your doors with an adhesive strip between the door and frame in order to get a firm seal.
- Remove your garden hoses, drain the water and place it somewhere that doesn’t reach freezing temperatures. Water that’s left in the hose can freeze and expand causing the host to break.
- Look in your cabinets or under sinks on exterior walls to make sure there isn’t a big gaping hole around pipes going through walls. If there is, use spray foam insulation to seal the space.
- Basement cracks along floors or walls are another place where air can seep in. Experts at networx.com recommend using acrylic latex caulk in sealing cracks that are less than ¼” wide and using spray foam insulation for larger cracks.
- By installing a programmable thermostat, you can save approximately 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by changing the thermostat by 10º or 15ºF while you are away or sleeping.
- The second largest energy expense in your home is water heating, accounting for about 18% of your utility bill. Determine if it is time to invest in an energy-efficient water heater by asking yourself these questions: is your water heater over 9 years old, do you see sediment in your water, is the water heater leaking or are you running out of hot water sooner than normal? If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to purchase a new water heater.
- Now is also the perfect time to have your furnace tuned up before the cold weather really hits. A neglected furnace can cost you money in lost efficiency, breakdowns and a shorter lifespan of your heating system.
Taking care of these 7 steps can offer you peace of mind in knowing your house will stay comfortable throughout the winter. If you need help with #2 or #6, give Greenwell a call.