In Part 1, we gave you a list of 7 winterization tasks you should complete before it gets too cold outside to complete that list or experience any benefits from those measures. With Part 2, we’ll explain how these 5 tasks will improve your overall energy efficiency for cooler weather.
Just like you should change your air filter every 3 months, the filter for your furnace should be changed as well. Some high-performance units with specialized filters require even closer attention, but your best course of action is to follow the directions of your unit’s manufacturer. Because, no matter how great a shape your furnace might be after that inspection, it will be all for naught if the filter is clogged up because you don’t change it regularly.
You can complete this one yourself with a little hard work, though you can also hire it out if you aren’t the most experienced Do-It-Yourself (DIY) person out there. Over at Energy.gov, you can view the recommended insulation depth for your location in America. From there, climb into your attic to measure what you have present, and after that, head out to your nearest home improvement store to purchase the insulation and safety equipment you need. Having the right insulation will help keep your home warm in winter, while also keeping you cool in summer, it’s a win-win all season round.
Compared to the other recommended tasks, checking for drafts is a relatively easy thing for most homeowners to do. And best of all, the only special equipment needed for this is a sheet of paper.
Drafts are your enemy, both in winter and summer. If cold air is seeping into your home, than your furnace is working overtime to keep the air heated. By fixing the drafts in your door, you will run your furnace less, which will lower your home energy bills.
The same idea applies here, even though you can do the “paper in the door jamb” trick. Simply examine the caulking around each of your windows – both inside and outside the home – and if you see any of it cracked, crumbling, or missing altogether, purchase a tube of silicon caulking and start replacing the old caulk with new stuff.
You might have heard this tip before with summertime energy efficiency tips. The logic is the same – your fan can help you use energy more efficiently so you don’t have to run your furnace non-stop. Simply look for the direction switch on your ceiling fan and flip from the summer setting (where the air is blown down into the center of the room) to the winter setting (where the air is drawn up to the ceiling and then pushed down into the corners of the room). Helping direct the flow of air more effectively will keep your family warm, even as you use more efficient thermostat settings.
Not everyone likes this tip, because it requires you to keep your home at a thermostat setting that some people in your family don’t like. We’re talking about more than just warming your home – we’re talking about warming it efficiently so your energy bills remain manageable, even in the depths of winter.
Sure, it’s hard to get everyone to agree on a thermostat setting, but luckily in the winter, it’s easier to dress for the season with a sweater and socks so the thermostat can remain low and help you save on your energy bill.
With these tips, the overarching point is to keep out the approaching cold weather so you can keep everyone inside comfortable without running the furnace all the time and driving up your energy bill. By spending the next few weekends going down this task list and winterizing your home, you’ll be prepared for the cold weather, decrease the amount of energy you’re using, and get it all done before the first frost hits!
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