6 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Winter

These steps will help lower your utility bills & protect your home investment;

1. TUNE UP YOUR HEATING SYSTEM. For $80-$100, have a certified technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean & in good repair. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.

2. REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS. If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling ( remember, hot air rises). This will allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two & save energy.

3. PREVENT ICE DAMS. Icicles can cause melt water to back up & flow into your house. take steps to prevent potential damage by having a home energy auditor or weatherization contractor identify and fix air leaks & inadequate insulation in your home’s attic that can lead to ice dams.

4. INSPECT OR SCAN YOUR ROOF. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow. If your roof is flat, blow off the leaves or pine needles which hold moisture.

5. CAULK AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS. If the gaps between siding & windows or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window & door frames too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink & it’s impervious to the elements. Try GE’s Silicone 11 window and door product, which is “rain ready” in three ($6.00 at Home Depot). Check window glazing putty which seals glass into the window frame. Add weather stripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

6. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS. This will prevent water back up and ice dams!

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