Checklist for Winterizing Your Home

by | Oct 28, 2016

The gentle beauty of fall tries to distract us from the quickly approaching winter, but early autumn provides the ideal time to winterize your home, especially your home heating and insulation. A few simple tasks can lower your winter heating bills and make your home more comfortable in cold weather.

Heating Checklist

Start with what you’ll use the most in cold weather – your home heating system. Don’t worry if you’re not Bob Villa. It’s easy to winterize if you just follow the heating checklist.

  • Clean out your cold air returns. Those are the larger vents. In a central heat and air system, the furnace uses these, too.
  • Replace all air filters. You can cut down on family illness by keeping your air filters fresh. It also helps with furnace efficiency and clean filters mean you use less energy. That saves you money on heating bills.
  • Upgrade your heating system if it’s ten years old or older. Install an energy-efficient heating system.
  • Install a whole-home humidifier. Increased humidity makes air feel warmer, dries skin less and creates less static. If you can’t afford a home unit, a room unit works. Just use it in the room in which you spend the most time or move it from room to room.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to decrease energy use by adjusting the temperature according to a schedule you set.
  • Have an HVAC professional check your heating and cooling system. You may have a simple part wearing out that would reduce efficiency or damage the system if it broke. Catching this early lets you replace it before costly damage occurs and lower your winter bills due to increased efficiency.

Home Improvement Checklist

You can make your home use less energy by making small improvements like adding weather-stripping or re-caulking. These quick, low cost DIY projects can pay big returns.

  • Update your windows. Replace existing windows with low-e, energy-efficient windows. You’ll retain more heat indoors.
  • Insulate or re-insulate the attic. A properly insulated attic traps heat in your home which helps your heater run less. That means lower bills for you.
  • Insulate the plumbing, too. It helps warm the water which means your water heater doesn’t work as hard. It also helps pipes from freezing in extreme cold.
  • Replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows.
  • Install a storm door. These provide increased heat retention while providing a removable screen guard. You’ll have the benefits of a screen door and a cold blocking door.
  • Check windows and doors for drafts. Caulk doors and windows.
  • Replace any cracked or broken window or door glass.

You can increase the comfort of your home and cut your bills by winterizing in fall. While the weather remains nice, upgrade your home in these small ways to earn a better return on your investment.

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