Another summer is ending. The blazing heat of the summer is fading and the days are getting shorter. Everyone is excited about the return of pumpkin spice. You’re enjoying a reprieve from your sky-high air conditioning-related energy bills.
If your energy bills made you sweat all summer, you should consider adding insulation to your home before the winter hits and those heating bills give you chills. The US Department of Energy recommends insulation as the number one way to reduce your energy consumption (and your bills) while keeping your home comfortable for the whole family.
In addition to adding insulation, there are many other things you can do to get your home ready for the cold winter months.
Clean out your gutters and drainpipes – If your gutters are blocked with leaves or other debris this can lead to water collecting on your roof or the foundation, causing serious damage.
Get your chimneys cleaned – Regular chimney maintenance reduces the risk of fire and ensures that your fireplace works efficiently, heating your home evenly. Annual cleanings also help lengthen the life of your flue.
HVAC tune-up – Even with effective whole-home insulation, you might need a professional to check your HVAC system to make sure it’s functioning as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Install a programmable thermostat –Energy efficient programmable thermostats control the weather inside of your home, even when you’re not there. There are tech-savvy app-controlled thermostats as well as versions that allow several different programmable settings for weekdays and weekends.
Protect your plumbing – Exposed pipes are at a greater risk of freezing and bursting during the frigid winter months. Insulating your pipes is an easy way to protect them. It’s also a good idea to keep you home a constant temperature to prevent fluctuations that can cause damage.
Trim your trees – In addition to preparing your yard for winter, you may want to consider having an arborist examine your trees to check for any signs of damage or dangling limbs that might blow loose in a storm and damage your home.
Sidewalk maintenance – Examine your sidewalks, driveways and steps for any cracks or damage that could become worse from snow and ice damage or even dangerous. You should ensure you have easy to shovel paths to your doors.
Drain hoses and irrigation systems – While you are taking care of outdoor tasks, you should also disconnect and empty your hoses and irrigation systems. If water is left in the hoses or pipes and allowed to freeze, it can cause costly damage and leaks. Protect your home and yard by making sure these items are drained, cleaned and stored for the winter.
Stock up on cold weather essentials – You don’t want to be caught out in the first snowfall of the year without having a good shovel and salt to clear and treat your sidewalks and driveways. If you live in an area prone to regular and heavy snowfall, you might also want to stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water, just in case.
While you’re getting your home ready for winter, don’t forget to contact us to schedule a free home energy assessment. We’ll check for air leaks, insulation levels and give you an assessment and advice to make your home more comfortable.