Winterizing Your Home
Fall is the time to prepare your house for Winter, before the temperatures drop below freezing. Follow these simple guidelines to winterize your home and save money on utilities.
Inside Your Home
- Have your furnace serviced to ensure it's working efficiently and not emitting carbon monoxide.
- Clean permanent furnace filters and replace paper or disposable filters.
- Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- If you have a wood stove or fireplace, have your chimney swept thoroughly. It should be cleaned before the soot build up reaches one-fourth inch thickness inside the chimney flue.
- Check your water heater for leaks and maintain proper temperature setting (120 degrees recommended by Department of Energy). On older water heaters with less insulation, for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you lower the temperature, you save 6 percent of your water heating energy.
- Call your home inspector or utility for an energy audit, particularly of the attic to see if insulation needs to be added or air leaks sealed. This is the most significant area of heat loss in many homes.
- Check all windows and doors for air leaks. Install storm windows and putty, caulk or add weather stripping as needed.
- If you have an air to air heat exchanger (HRV) clean its air intake, filters and core.
Outside Your Home
- Drain and shut off sprinkler systems and other exterior water lines to avoid frozen and broken pipes. Leave all taps slightly open.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Check the foundation for proper drainage. To do this, spray yard with a hose to see if water runs away from the house. A little shoveling to reshape the earth next to the house may make the water run away from the foundation.