The winter season is the time for hot chocolate, comfy sweaters, roaring fires and staying inside with a good book or watching your favorite TV show. Winter is also the time for low temperatures, high winds and precipitation that can get your homes’ energy bills skyrocketing.
But with a little forward thinking and planning, you can knock out some organizational tasks around the house to get things ready and help your place be more energy efficient. Break up tasks in several weekends or assign them to each family member to lessen the burden on one person.
Here are some things to remember while preparing your home for another long and cold winter season.
Prepare your plumbing
First, drain all the water from outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Then, roll up those garden hoses and store them inside your home or in your Cook shed. Check all pipes and use heat tape on any problematic ones that have frozen over in the past.
Also, it’s a smart idea to show all family members how to turn-off the water at its source. The quicker it’s turned off, the less the possible damage if a pipe bursts.
Seal all leaks
A key way to lower energy costs is to make sure every crack and opening is sealed up tight. Check all weather stripping around windows and doors and replace or fix any that has worn down. Don’t forget to also check any pipes and air ducts that are near exterior walls and replace any doorstops that are worn.
Installing storm windows or doors, especially in the basement, can be an intelligent long term way to rake in those savings. Fixing all those entry points with caulk will keep the cold air out and keep your family warm and toasty inside.
Heat things up
If your home has a fireplace, make sure to have it inspected yearly and have it cleaned before the first frost. Hire a professional to perform a routine check of your heating system prior to any really cold weather, including vacuuming all vents.
Check all furnace filters and replace any that are dirty and need replacing. It’s smart to change your furnace filter around once a month in the winter. Also, check to see if the entire furnace needs to be cleaned to remove dust and grime.
Another energy-saving idea is to invest in a setback thermostat, which can be programmed to reduce the temperature at night or when no one is home.
Homes can get very dusty in the winter because of the dry air. So dust all surfaces, ceiling blades, lighting fixtures and window moldings to keep things looking brighter.
If you have a fireplace or routinely burn candles, your windows will have a thin film soot on them, which blocks the sun. Use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean your windows.
While you are cleaning, don’t forget the kitchen ceiling and walls, which can get dirty from the moisture, fumes and smoke from cooking. Scrub surfaces with a mixture of dish soap and water.
Doing these simple things will make sure your home is ready to withstand winter weather and save you money for years to come!
And what’s a smarter investment than to put that savings back into your home with the purchase of a Cook Portable Warehouse? Then, when you need something out of storage, you won’t have to brave the winter weather driving back and forth to your storage unit; you can just walk right outside!