Published October 20, 2016
The seasons are changing! Following these tips to prepare your home for winter can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
Check for leaks:
- Inspect windows and door frames for cracks or signs of decay or drafts. Seal any leaks with caulk or weatherstripping, or use a temporary product like rope caulk or a plastic window insulation kit.
- Install storm doors and windows.
- Close the dampers on indoor fireplaces when not in use. (Make sure any embers are completely out first.) If you never use the fireplace, block off the chimney with a piece of insulation.
- Make sure your attic is sufficiently insulated. This can be the most cost-effective way to cut heating costs. Many older houses have inadequate attic insulation or none at all.
- Install weatherstripping around the attic hatch.
- Seal holes that lead from the attic to the house with spray foam and foam board. Any hole that lets air move from a lower level into the attic will waste heat.
Take advantage of natural heating:
- Let the sunshine in, opening blinds of sun-exposed windows during the day. At night, cover windows with heavy curtains to keep the heat in.
- Position furniture in warm spots, away from exterior walls and drafts.
- Reverse ceiling fans to run clockwise, pushing heated air down from the ceiling.
Check your heating system:
- Replace your heater’s air filter if needed.
- Check vents, making sure they’re open and unblocked by furniture.
- Get your furnace or boiler tuned up. If the unit is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer and much more efficient model.
- Program your thermostat to set at least 8 degrees cooler overnight and when you’re away from home. Programming the thermostat saves a typical home
$180 per year. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, turn the heat down manually when it’s not needed. (Adjusting the temperature in this way is not recommended if you use a heat pump.)
Some utilities give out free kits with much of what you need to prevent those cold winter drafts. See what your utility offers at CUB’s rebate and discount tool.
For more tips for any season, visit CUB’s energy efficiency page.
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