Turning the Heat on Soon? Is your Home Ready?

warm-homeAs the days turn colder, at home our focus turns towards keeping heat inside.  Heat (and the money that goes along with supplying it) could literally be drifting away from your wallet if you don’t invest some time this fall to get your home winter ready.

Get a Sweater

As the thermometer drops outside, the inclination is to jack the thermostat up inside. While you may be toasty warm, your energy bills will creep up.

One very simple way to keep energy bills down is simply to adjust your thermostat down a couple of degrees colder than you might automatically set it. If you’re cold—layer up and put on a sweater-which is far less expensive (and far more fashionable).

Heat the Inside, Not the Outside.

On chilly days, take a few moments around windows and doors to check for draughts.  You can check for ill-fitting seals around doors by inserting a piece of paper underneath. Close the door, and pull the paper out. If it comes out easily and does not tear, then the seal is not tight enough. Another way to check for draughts is to light a match or incense stick on a windy day and sit in front of doors and windows. If wind travels through, the flame will be extinguished.

Block the Outflow

Many draughts can be taken care of with a little caulking, which is low-cost and fairly easy to do, even for the most reticent DIY homeowner.

Another trick, if you feel that your windows are ancient and don’t have the money in the budget to retrofit them, is to cover them in bubble wrap. Translucent, it will still let the light in, but will serve as an extra barrier to block cold air from coming in (and hot air from going out).

Check out Your Furnace Now

Before it gets really cold, check out the working parts in your furnace. Consider a tune-up, which while involves an upfront cost, but will save you in your energy bills down the road. Beyond energy savings, you are addressing potential problems that might otherwise interrupt your heat supply (like in the deep freeze of January!)

Change filters (usually monthly during the winter months) and get ready for the cold months ahead.

Let it Flow

It may seem obvious, but make sure that vents are not blocked by toys or furniture. That might explain the cool air in the room, which tempts you to raise the thermostat.

Decorate for Energy Savings

While blackout drapes are likely chosen for their esthetic appeal in a room, they serve an energy saving purpose as well. During the day, pull the drapes back and let the sun shine in. At night, close drapes which will serve as an extra barrier for heat trying to escape.

Put the A/C Unit away

While it may be inconvenient to install and re-install your window A/C unit, leaving it in place over the winter months may be creating unnecessary gaps and heat loss.