The winter weather outside is frightful–and it can do frightful things inside your home, and your comfort level, if you aren’t prepared for it. The following tips each take only a minute to complete, yet they can do wonders for your warmth and wallet all season long. Let the winterizing begin!
Change the filter on your furnace
Heating season is also crazy season. Out of town guests, travel, and the holidays can all make it very easy to forget that your furnace is working overtime. Changing the filter on your heating system will prevent excess wear and tear on your furnace, as well as keep the system working efficiently, making your family warmer and happier.
Take it a step further by preventing excess dust from entering the system in the first place. A regular house cleaning or even a deep occasional scrubbing can help reduce the dust particles and bacteria from ever making it to the filter.
Almost all ceiling fans have a small toggle switch on the main housing to reverse the blade rotation depending on the season. During the winter months, change the direction of the fan blades to a clockwise movement to force the warm air that rises to the ceiling back down into the room. It only takes a subtle movement to keep rooms warmer and seriously decrease heating costs.
Old Man Winter has an uncanny way of showing up where he’s not wanted. While he can’t be stopped entirely (he was here first, after all), you can stop his chilly drafts from sneaking into your home if you know where to look.
Whenever you have a joining of two different building materials you have the potential for leaks. Caulk around windows and doors. Check ductwork for gaps and seal them with aluminum duct tape. If you are not using your fireplace this winter, you invest in a chimney balloon that inflates inside of your chimney and prevents your expensive warm air from heating the neighborhood. Even replacing a simple piece of weather stripping along your front door can go a long way to reducing energy costs and increasing your comfort.
Put unnecessary systems into hibernation.
Unless you plan to water the lawn in January, there is really no need for water spigots and hose bibs to be turned on. Often, the pipes that lead to these outlets are under-protected from the cold and can easily burst in freezing temperatures–leaving you with a cold, soggy mess. Turn off these pipes at the shut-off valve–usually located near exterior walls in basements or crawlspaces–and open up the external spigot to drain whatever is left in the pipes.
Stop drafty windows with a good film.
Plastic window film is a quick and clear solution for older, drafty windows. Cheap and easy to install, it prevents cold air from sneaking in and warm air from seeping out. Hidden behind curtains or sheers, you’ll never know the plastic film is there, but you’ll be glad you have it; window films have been shown to keep up to 50% of your heat from radiating through the glass panes of your windows.
Keep the prep going! Now that your home is ready for freezing temps, it’s time to make sure your freezer is ready with make ahead meals. Stay tuned for more tips from The Maids!