Nobody wants to think about it, but whether we acknowledge it or not, winter is on its way! Instead of getting caught off guard and left, literally, in the cold, it’s a good idea to prepare your home now for the months ahead.
Here are a few ways you can make your home a bit more cozy and the days a little more tolerable during everyone’s least favorite season.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Furnace filters are the unsung heroes of the home when it comes to keeping indoor air clean and free of allergens. They also help remove particles sucked into vents that can build up over time and damage the furnace fan or heating coil. It’s a good idea to swap out your filter every month or so, and especially before it gets heavy use during the winter. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be found at almost any hardware or big box store.
Cold air can seep through small cracks in the windows and doors of our home during the winter and raise our monthly energy bills by a substantial amount. In fact, it’s estimated that drafts can cost homeowners nearly $700 from October through March! There are a few cheap, simple ways you can eliminate drafts in your home. Weatherstripping can be easily installed around windows and doors to block cold, outside air. Draft guard are another helpful tool that are easily slipped underneath doors to stop drafts. If you’ve followed these steps and still feel a draft coming through, caulk can be used as a more permanent solution to seal cracks and keep the cold air where it belongs – outside!
Clean Out Your Gutters
Falling leaves late in the season can clog gutters and lead to some serious damage as snow piles up on our roofs. Take some time to clean your gutters and remove leaves and other debris before it gets too cold outside. Also, while you’re working on the exterior of your house, check to make sure your downspouts are attached and able to carry water away from the base of your home. If your downspouts aren’t attached correctly, melting snow later in the season can collect near your home’s foundation and seep into your basement. Finally, detach outside hoses and turn off any exterior faucets to keep them from dripping during the winter. It may not seem like a big deal, but a dripping faucet over a few months can add up quickly on your water bill.
Drain Your Hot Water Heater
Many of us neglect our water heater until a there’s problem with our hot water, but it’s a good idea to flush it out once a year to help it run smoothly and do its job properly. Draining your hot water heater once per year will help it run efficiently and cut down on monthly energy bills. It’s a simple process that only take a few minutes out of your day!