Since we’re already in the midst of winter, hopefully you’ve prepared your home and HVAC system for the cold. But what if your home still isn’t as energy-efficient and safe as it could be this winter? Here are our “bonus tips” for you:
Did you know there are actually tens of steps you can take to winterize your home for maximum efficiency? Not only will some of these strategies help prevent ice and snow damage, but they’ll also save you a bunch of money!
1. First of all, if you haven’t already gotten a furnace tune-up done…
Know that the best time to do it is before you turn your furnace on at all. But it’s not too late!
There are a few things our techs do that you could do yourself, such as replacing your air filter. But we also check the motor, fan, blower, and gas pipes. Those are things you want to entrust to our professionals, with a professional tune-up.
But here are some DIY tips that everyone should do to prepare for cold months:
2. Trim tree branches that come perilously close to your house, especially if they would hit your roof if they fell off.
This is a pretty good rule of thumb all year long, but of course in winter the ice and snow make branches heavier and more dangerous. So yes, in this sense, trimming trees is a form of winterizing!
3. Switch the way your ceiling fan is running.
Yes, unlike sealing air leaks or getting insulation in your attic, this is a super SIMPLE winterization tip! On your ceiling fan, there should be a switch that reverses the fan. You want it to be rotating clockwise instead of counterclockwise. Why, exactly? Because the warm air will be pushed down; you know heat rises and if you can push it back down, that’s savings off your heat bill, baby!
4. Check and detect!
It’s more important during the winter to check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detector, more so than in any other season.
What is CO? It’s a colorless, odorless gas that is extremely toxic to breathe. It’s caused by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuel such as gas. That’s definitely something that can happen with a faulty gas furnace!
And why is it more important to check your CO detector in winter, than any other time of year? It’s because you see more fires and also more cases of CO poisoning in the winter. People have their furnaces/boilers working harder than at any other time of year, and so they’re more likely to malfunction!
5. Put together an emergency winter supplies kit, in case you’re stranded at home without power.
Yes, part of having a winter-ready home is battening down the hatches with storm door and window insulation, wrapped pipes, etc., but it’s about the items in your home, too!
So as you can see, there are dozens of ways to prepare your home for winter, but arguably the furnace tune-up is still the most important step of all!