With the coldest months of the year now on the horizon, it’s time to ensure your home is properly equipped to withstand the extreme temperatures, howling winds, snow, sleet, and hail that make up winter weather in most parts of the country. Here is a brief checklist of some of the more important home winterization tasks that will not only keep you warmer but may also reduce your energy bills:
- Replace screen windows and doors with storm windows and doors
- Clean out the chimney and fireplace (or pay to have it done) and replenish the woodpile
- Clean out the gutters to prevent ice dams and blockage
- Inspect the roof for loose shingles or other obvious damage
- Apply caulk or weatherstripping to the inside of doors and windows
- Reverse the ceiling fans in your home (i.e. run them clockwise) to draw warm air down into rooms
- Inspect your furnace air filter and replace if necessary
- Check the insulation in your attic and add more to any areas that show signs of deterioration
In addition to the above, using products such as heated mattress pads and electric blankets may also save money on winter energy bills by focusing heat on people instead of a whole room.
For example, a heated mattress pad provides enough warmth and comfort that you can turn your thermostat down (or even off) overnight without disrupting sleep. One reason for this is that the pad directs heat upward, allowing it to warm your blankets and comforter as well as your body. Meanwhile, electric blankets can serve as portable sources of warmth for use in bed, on the sofa, or at your computer desk.
If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you may end up spending more on your energy bills to compensate. Instead, carve out some time to implement these tips so you can warm up without draining your bank account.