We made it to another fall, which means winter is just around the corner. Many people keep their windows open during the summer, spend the majority of time outside in the backyard, and their thermostats off. However, in only a matter of weeks, you’ll be snuggling up inside with all of the windows and doors closed, and the heat turned up high.
It’s always a good idea to winterize your home — to ensure it’s good and ready for another long visit from old man winter. There are a few questions to ask yourself: when was the last time you checked your furnace’s functionality? Or, how many years has it been since you replaced those crackling and whistling windows — and, is it even normal for windows to whistle like that? To find out how to prepare your home for the cold months ahead, check out this handy home-winterizing checklist.
1. Draft-proof Your Home
Did you know that drafts from leaky windows or doors can waste five to 30 percent of your home’s energy? To test your windows and doors, place a stick of incense beside your windows and doors. Where the smoke wavers, a draft is blowing in. Another sign of a drafty window is hearing that eerie whistling or rattling noise because air is blowing in through tiny cracks and holes. The last thing you’ll want this winter is a drafty, noisy window, bringing in cold air and haunting sounds in the middle of the night. To seal any leaks, caulk and weatherstrip all your doors and windows professionally before the cold weather hits.
Another option is to buy new windows for your home if they’re damaged beyond repair or older than about 15 years. Securing your home with safe, sturdy windows before the fall season ends is a great way to ensure your home’s warmth for the upcoming cold season. Find a company that manufactures and installs its own windows, and one that offers energy-efficient products to help save you money on bills and reduce energy waste.
2. Change Your Furnace Filters
Dirty furnace filters restrict airflow and increase your furnace’s energy demand by forcing it to work harder. Ensure that your furnace filters are changed at least every three months during the warmer seasons or make a request with your landlord. All of that dirt and dust that an old filter collects will float around your home throughout the winter if you don’t correctly change or replace it.
While it’s crucial to change the filter every three months, be sure to do so in the fall so you won’t have to worry about it during the winter. Better indoor air quality is also an excellent benefit to your health.
3. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Many ceiling fans have an option to oscillate in reverse mode. When they turn clockwise, they push warm air down that pools near the ceiling and circulate it.
With these tips, you’ll feel warm and cozy all winter long. The trick is to stay inside as much as you can to avoid the frosty season all together!