As Winter approaches it’s time to prepare our homes for cold weather. Here are a few recommended tips from Capewide Enterprises that will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.
Tune up your heating system.
Have your furnace inspected by a trained technician to be sure the system is clean and in good repair so that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency.
Buy a programmable thermostat.
Energy Star says that, on average, for an initial investment of $50 to $100, you will save $180 annually on heating (and cooling) bills if in winter you keep the thermostat set to no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home and awake and no more than 62 degrees when you’re away or asleep. Or, if you already have one, double-check the settings.
Reverse your ceiling fan
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).
Inspect your roof
Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter storms or from melting snow. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys
Divert water away from your home
Even if your gutter system is clean and free-flowing, rainwater can still potentially cause damage if it isn’t carried away from your home. Ensuring proper downspout drainage will help eliminate the possibility of damage to your foundation, basement, and landscaping.
Add extensions to downspouts, such as a longer downspout drain or underground downspout, so water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation
Seal air leaks
Sealing air leaks with a combination of weatherstripping, caulk and spray foam can reduce your cooling and heating bills by up to 15 percent when you seal air leaks in windows and doors.