Feeling the Cold??

Winter is here! 

The leaves are gone, and I've even seen snow once or twice...but is your home ready?? 

Here are 15 handy tips for preparing for the winter months!

1. Drafts can account for 5% -30% of energy loss in your house. Once you find a draft, there are many ways to remedy the problem, from a rolled up towel to specially made draft proofing products available in stores.  

2. Replace or clean your furnace filter once a month. Dirty filters can spread allergens, and reduce heat output, making your furnace less efficient. 

3. Reverse your fans. Most people think of fans for cooling, but many fans come with switches to change the direction. Counter-clockwise rotation cools, while a clockwise rotation pushes warm air pooled near the ceiling back around the room. 

4. Winterize your AC and Water Lines. Drain hoses and pipes to avoid damage from freezing water in the winter months. 

5. Get your heating system serviced. A seasonal check on your heating system can help prevent heat loss, while making sure your heating system is still in good working order so you aren't left out in the cold this winter.

6. Use caulking and weather strips to prevent heat and energy loss through small cracks and crevices. 

7. Add extra insulation around windows and exterior doors and walls. 

8. Insulate your water pipes.

9.Perhaps its time to consider an upgrade? There are many high-efficiency heating options on the market, and there are tax-credit programs for making upgrades. 

10. Put on a sweater and dress for the weather! Sweaters add about 2-4 degrees of heat to you, and this can make a big difference in your heating costs if you don't turn up the heat when you aren't quite as warm as you'd like. 

11. If you're going to be putting up Christmas lights, be sure the lights are plugged in properly and can be easily turned on and off. If you use extension cables or power bars, be sure they are rated for outside use. LED Christmas lights can also offer huge savings vs traditional lights. It also helps to put up your lights before the snow hits. 

12. Clean your gutters and check your roof for any damage or spots that could problematic under heavy snow

13. Clean the chimney to reduce the risk of a chimney fire

14. Get out the snow blower, shovels, salt and sand! Don't risk an icy walk to the garage or shed for your snow removal tools! Have them on hand so you can remove snow quickly and easily. 

15. Most importantly, enjoy the season! Have fun! Winter is a great time to reconnect with family and friends, and you dont want to be worrying about how your home will handle the cold. 

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