Is your home ready for winter? Most homeowners spend little or no time preparing their home for the seasonal transition from fall to winter. As a result, they end up battling uncomfortably cold temperatures with an inefficient home and expensive monthly utility bills. To prevent this from happening to you, it's recommended that you follow some basic steps to prepare your home for the upcoming winter season.
#1) Change the Filter
The air filter isn't used strictly by your home's air conditioner. The central heating uses it as well. If it's dirty or clogged, your home's central heating may struggle to warm your home. Of course, a dirty filter also means that more bacteria and dust will remain in your home. Therefore, you should replace the filter in the weeks leading up to winter.
#2) Search for Thermal Leaks
If you haven't done so already, inspect your home for thermal leaks. A thermal leak is, by definition, any area in which thermal energy escapes from its intended space. In a home, you may have a thermal leak at the bottom of your front door. A simple solution is to install weatherstripping here so that warm air is "locked" inside your home during winter.
#3) Hang Blackout Curtains
Another tip to prepare your home for winter is to hang blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are designed to block 99% or more of the sun's light. However, they also work to trap heat inside your home, thereby making your home efficient during winter. You can (and should) open blackout curtains during the day so that light can enter and naturally warm your home. In the evenings and nights, though, close the curtains to improve your home's home efficiency.
#4) Inspect Insulation
Insulation plays an essential role in creating an energy-efficient home. If your home lacks the necessary amount of insulation, heat will escape during winter. In turn, your home's central heating will consume more energy to achieve the temperature to which you set it. Look in the attic and basement or crawlspace to ensure that it's properly insulated. If there's missing insulation, purchase new insulation of the same type from your local home improvement store.
#5) Set the Thermostat
Finally, go ahead and program your thermostat so that it's best suited for the winter weather. You don't have to necessary set it to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Rather, try to keep it around 74 to 76 degrees when your home is occupied.