Just like your lifestyle changes during the winter, so should your home. It’s always recommended to be prepared for anything that can happen during this season. As you probably already know, heavy snowfall can cause a number of problems, including burst pipes and an overworked furnace. Winter is supposed to be a season when you stay cozy and enjoy some peace. However, you won’t be able to do that when you get stressed over high utility bills that arrived because you didn’t prepare your house properly.
Check Your Heating System
The first thing that you should do to prepare your house for the winter is check your heating system. It doesn’t matter the type of system you use, it’s important to call a professional who will inspect it before the seasons starts. After all, you don’t want to have problems with it in the middle of the winter and pay a lot of money for an emergency repair.
Keep in mind that many people have their heating systems inspected every year, so it’s recommended that you call a technician ahead of time in order to get everything sorted out quickly. If you don’t want to spend money on a technician, then you can try checking the heating system yourself.
Program Your Central Heating
Knowing how to use your central heating during the winter is extremely important if you want to save on your energy costs. The best way to do this is to first set your thermostats at a temperature you and your family feels comfortable. After everyone gets used to it, you should lower it by one degree each week until you reach an energy-efficient temperature. For example, during the day, you should aim for 68° F (20° C). On the other hand, it’s best to keep the temperature at 62° F (17° C) during the night.
It’s worth noting that there are also quite a few other ways to save on your energy costs while staying warm during the winter, like opening your curtains during the day or layering up.
Install Weather Stripping
Weather stripping represents an excellent way to seal the warm air in your home. On top of that, it will also keep the cold air out of your home. The great thing about weather stripping is that it’s very easy to install and it is available in almost any hardware store. By installing it around your doors and windows, you’ll be able to successfully prevent air leaks.
Seal Furnace Ducts
If you have leaky heat ducts, then your house will be harder to keep warm. On top of that, you will start getting higher utility bills. Keep in mind that around 20-30% of the air that moves through your duct system gets lost because of holes and leaks. It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to reach all of the ducts, since some of them are hidden in the floors and ceilings. However, you can seal the ones in the crawl space and attic.
Replace Your Furnace Filters Every Month
Having dirty furnace filters will not only increase your heating bills, but it will also reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Although you should change them every three months during other seasons, furnace filters need to be changed monthly during the winter.
Invest in a Roof Rake
If you usually get a lot of snow during the winter, then you should definitely get a roof rake to keep it from building up. Know that the average roof is able to handle only up to four feet of snow before it starts to become a problem.
Lower the Hot Water Temperature
By lowering the how water temperature, you will reduce the risk of accidental burns. Keep in mind that most hot water heaters are usually set to 140° F (60° C), but you can lower the temperature to 120° F (48° C) and still use it for doing dishes, washing clothes, and bathing.