The impending cold weather may leave some people dreading winter, but if you start well in advance, there are lots of steps you can take to winterize your home and stay comfortable throughout the colder months. A winterized home is not just more comfortable for your family, it’s also more energy efficient. Where do you begin, though? It’s easier than you think. Check out these tips:
Furnace – Now is the time to get your furnace serviced, to make sure it is running as efficiently as possible. Consider replacing the filter soon as well.
Windows – Are your windows as energy efficient as they could be, or do you feel drafts when you’re close to them? Investing in triple pane windows can make an enormous difference to your monthly energy bills, and they’ll look far nicer than a plastic seal that you have to attach every year.
Fireplace – If you have a fireplace that is used regularly once the temperature drops, have it inspected before you begin using it again. In the same vein, if you have a fireplace that is rarely used, ensure the chimney is sealed, to prevent any cold air entering your home.
Thermostat – There are several ways you can attend to your thermostat to prepare your home for winter. One option is investing in a learning thermostat which connects to your smartphone. A learning thermostat does exactly what you’d think it does: it learns from your daily habits and begins to adjust itself to allow for maximum energy efficiency. It also lets you keep the temperature cooler for longer, should you need to stay late at work one night, or warm it up sooner, should you realize you’ll be coming home early. Alternatively, a simple programmable thermostat can make an enormous difference in your home’s energy output, just by programming it to turn the furnace on when the internal temperature hits a certain number.
Insulation – At the very least, you should do a full inspection of the insulation in your home, to ensure that there are no significant gaps in your insulation coverage. Ideally, however, replacing any traditional insulation materials with a more energy efficient insulation like Icynene spray foam can transform your home. This is thanks to Icynene’s ability to create an effective air seal anywhere it is applied, which can help to minimize air loss your home might be experiencing.
Doors – These days, your front door is the expression of your personality. Red ones, blue ones, beautiful wreaths for every season. A storm door may not be as pretty as what you currently have, but if you’ve only got one door at any entrances to your home, you’re missing out on a significant way to reduce air loss and drafts.
Basement and Attic – If either parts of your house are not insulated, your heating system is likely working far harder than it needs to, in order to keep your house warm in the colder months.
Ceiling Fans – You may assume that when it is winter, the fans stay off in your home. What you should actually be doing is reversing your ceiling fans’ directions, to direct warm air that would normally rise, back down into the main part of the room again.
Yard – An energy efficient home is one that makes use of all available assets, at different times of the year. In the winter, a home that has dense trees planted fairly close will benefit from the reduced wind and snow that is blown up against the house.
Closets – Believe it or not, open closets can end up increasing your furnace usage, because there is more space that needs to be heated as long as they’re open.
Caulking – If you can’t afford a full window and door retrofit, make sure the caulking around windows and doors hasn’t degraded at all. Any cracks present can lead to drafts in your home.
Water Heater – The standard setting on water heaters is generally much higher than the average household needs for it to be. The result is a higher heating bill, because you have to pay for it even when your water is too hot, unfortunately.
Emergency Kit – This may seem silly to do now, but it’s always better to have the food, necessary medication, and water on hand in case of a large scale power outage or needing to be evacuated due to storm damage.
Gutters – Ice dams can form through heat escaping via the poorly insulated roof of a home, thus melting some of the snow present, which runs down the roof and then freezes when it hits the eaves. This can be solved by replacing your current insulation with a high performance spray foam insulation like Icynene, which creates and air seal wherever it is applied, helping to minimize air loss. In addition, when gutters are not properly cleared of fall debris like dead leaves, water can be trapped while it’s warmer and then freeze when the temperature drops, creating ice dams for a different reason.
Talk to a licensed Icynene spray foam insulation contractor in your area, to find out more reasons why Icynene is the ideal choice to help you winterize your home, or for any other project.