Winter is right around the corner. Before you know it, harsh winter weather will be here. We all remember all the snow and winter storms from last year. The best time to prepare for the harsh winter weather is right now, when the weather is still mild. Before winter arrives, you might need to make some changes to your house to save on energy bills and improve your comfort. You will also need to take some precautionary measures yourself to make the winter as comfortable as possible for you. When you save energy, you don’t only save money but you also save valuable resources. Just by making some small changes to your house, you could be plugging energy wastage, saving energy, and fighting climate change.
In this blog, we are going give you some valuable tips on how you can prepare for the winter in order to save energy and also be better prepared for the harsh winter weather.
Winter proofing your home
Before winter arrives, consider making some improvement to your house. Cold, wind and freezing rain can seriously damage your house. On top of that, it might cost you a small fortune in energy bills. Here are a few things listed below that you should check around the house.
1. Clean your gutters
Clogged gutters can prevent proper water drainage. Rain and melting snow need to flow easily through the gutters. If not, you will have water leaking into your house or dripping in your lawn, where you don’t want water to drip. Without a proper drainage system, you risk damage to the foundation of your house and damage to your landscape. During the fall, clean your gutters and water drainage systems regularly. You can clean gutters yourself, or get help from a professional gutter cleaning and maintenance company in your area.
2. Check for leaks on your roof
Check for cracks or faulty shingles and tiles on your roof. Check for strength and get any necessary repairs done early in the fall. Also get rid of any trees or branches that could damage your roof or fall on your house during a winter storm.
3. Leak proof your house
You could be losing heat through leaks in your walls. Check for any cracks on your interior or exterior walls for drafts. If you have old, brittle siding on your house, replace it with an energy efficient siding. It is also useful to use housewrap materials under your roofing or siding to prevent weather damage to your exterior.
4. Replace old doors and windows
If you have old windows or doors, you might want to replace them with new energy efficient ones. They will pay for themselves in the long run. Check the Energy Star ratings and R-Value on them when you buy. Also seal around your doors and windows with weather strips. Make sure all your doors and windows are sealed properly. Place a towel to cover the gap under your door to stop drafts flowing.
5. Add insulation
Insulation could save you a significant amount of money in heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer.Add padding and insulation to your pipes, attic, interior, and exterior walls and wherever needed. If your house is older, you may need to add new insulation around your house and in your walls.
6. Service your heating system
Check whether your heating system is ready for the winter weather. Check to see if you need to make any repairs. You may need to change your air filters or change your heat pump. Hire a professional and check your entire heating system. Get all your maintenance work done before the winter gets too harsh.
7. Put on warm cloths
If you dress appropriately for the winter, you could be turning the heat down slightly and save a significant amount on your energy bills. Put on clothing in layers and cover yourself as much as possible with good warm cloths. A hot chocolate or hot coffee could also keep you warm. When in bed, use as many covers as possible, and let your body heat keep you warm.
8. Keep extra blankets
Remember, you might need to stay warm in case you have a power outage for a long period of time during the winter, so keep a few heavy blankets nearby. You might need them to keep you warm if you have a prolonged power failure.
9. Change your thermostat
Invest in a modern programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats can save energy and save you money. They keep the room temperature lower when you’re not home and put it back to 70 before you get home. It can be programmed from your smart phone, so they can be controlled form anywhere. Keep in mind that it isn’t necessarily going to save energy by putting the thermostat down very low when you’re not at home. “If you want it to go from 50 to 70, your furnace is going to have to work twice as hard,” (Good Housekeeping)
10. Use energy efficient heating system
According to energystar.gov, as much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling, and therefore you have to choose your heating and cooling systems carefully. Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort.
It’s not only your home that you should prepare, but during winter season you also need to make sure that you have prepared your automobile. For your car, getting new snow tires could be helpful so that you don’t get stuck in the snow. Also check and make sure that you have snow scrapers for your windows and windshield, and enough window washer fluid in your car. Your radiator fluid should be topped off with antifreeze liquid. If your battery is old, change it now. Your headlights mirrors, and windows should be clean and have maximum visibility. Also keep a blanket in your car in case of emergency.
Stock up on some emergency supplies. It could save you from a lot of unwanted trouble in case an emergency situation arises. For example, a winter storm could knock off your power supply. You should stock up on some items for survival, such as a shovel, plenty of bottled water, canned food, candles, flashlight, and keep your mobile phone charged at all times. It will help you in an emergency situation. You should also get an emergency survival kit that could keep you alive for a few days.
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