Winter is definitely here and it’s here to stay for a while, so… Here are some tips that will help keep you warm!
Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
For a lot of homes, the hot water heater is one of the biggest energy users in the house. This is especially true if your heater is located in a non-insulated room like the garage. Just think how much harder your heater has to work to deliver those piping hot showers if it’s sitting in a 30 degree room! Consider adding an insulating blanket over your heater to maximize its efficiency this winter.
Bundle Up Your Attic and Crawlspaces
Gaps and holes in your insulation are similar to having gaps and holes in your coat. They kind of defeat the purpose. By repairing your insulation, you can save more than 20 percent on your utility bills this winter. If you have a brand new home, you don’t necessarily have to worry about this but it’s always a good idea to check!
Protect Your Pipes
When water freezes, it expands. If it’s inside a pipe when it expands, the water breaks the pipe and leaves you with a gargantuan repair bill. To prevent this, shut down your sprinkler system and hose spigots before the first big freeze of the year. To protect your indoor pipes, be sure to never set your thermostat below 55 degrees F (even if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time)
Check Your Furnace
It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. Costs will often run about $100-$125. Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly (check them monthly). A dirty filter impedes air flow, reduces efficiency, and could even cause a fire in an extreme case. Toss out the dirty fiberglass filters; reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
It’s wasteful to heat an empty house, so why not take advantage of a programmable thermostat? You should always automatically lower your household temperature while you sleep or are away at work, and bring the heat back up when you wake or arrive home. With proper use, you’ll never notice the difference in temperature, but your bank account certainly will — you could end up saving more than 10 per cent on your home heating costs.
Reverse that Fan
Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of. By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. (Here’s how you know the fan is ready for winter: As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise)
Perfect a Warm Drink
Now that your house is prepped for the cold, it’s time to get your winter libation figured out. Grab a hot chocolate or coffee, and curl up on your couch with a nice warm blanket!