With the winter heating season beginning Oct. 1, it’s time to get your home ready for cold weather.
- Repair damaged shingles, windows and doors.
- Clear your gutters of any leaves or debris to prevent any roof damage. Inspect your yard for any tree branches that could interfere with power lines.
- Turn all outdoor faucets off. Flush outside faucets before winter to remove any excess water that could freeze and burst pipes.
- Look for any holes and seal them. Weatherstrip and insulate the attic door or hatch to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of the house.
- Insulate the floors. If the insulation is even with or below the attic floor joists, it’s time to add more.
- Make sure your heating vents are not blocked by furniture.
- Run the fan clockwise to pull warm air down from the ceiling and keep it circulating in your home. There should be a switch on the fan to reverse its direction. Turn it off when you leave the room.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure it is inspected and cleaned before using it. When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed to prevent warm air from escaping.
- Always check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Building fires and using the furnace could lead to accidental house fires and carbon monoxide exposure. Make sure your detectors are working — replace the batteries if you’re unsure of the last time they were changed.
- Check out your utility companies’ energy efficiency programs.
Doors and windows:
- Use weatherstripping and caulk to seal air leaks, preventing cold air from coming in and warm air going out.
- Consider installing a door sweep along the bottom of your door to help fill the gap between it and the frame.
- Have a certified heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor inspect your furnace. If your furnace is 15 years or older, you may want to consider upgrading.
- Check your furnace’s filter as well. A new filter helps your HVAC system operate at its best and last longer.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees (warm setting) and cover it with an insulated blanket.