Tips To Winterize Your Home

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As winter is on its way, now is the time to be sure your home is prepared for the drop in temperatures. While there are several areas to look into, some of the basics are a great way to keep temperatures moderate and cut back on winter utility bills.

Most experts recommend utilizing a programmable thermostat. By minimizing the heat when away from the home or asleep, you can save money. In addition, by changing filters in your central air and heating system, you can lengthen the life of the systems.

Cleaning gutters will minimize ice jams, which will in turn stop water from seeping into the house. It is also important to clean the vents and a chimney. Also block any leaks from windows, electric outlets, plumbing and electric bypasses in the attic, and any other places air may enter into or out of the home. Caulk can be a simple and inexpensive fix for some of these leaks, and weatherstrip tape can help seal windows and doors. Of course fiberglass insulation is great for attic floor and unused rooms.

Setting ceiling fans the opposite direction allows heat to circulate from the ceiling, as this setting pushes cold air up. This can save up to 10 percent of your heating costs.

Check plumbing to ensure any exposed areas are insulated. Also be sure to winterize a sprinkler system by turning off the water supply and blowing compressed air through the sprinkler lines.  One of the most important items, remove the hose from the faucet as the hose can cause the pipe to burst inside the home.

Flushing your water heater will remove particles that collect at the bottom and hinder performance. Lowering the water heater temperature can also save money. Most homes can comfortably function at 120 degrees, instead of the usual 140 degrees. This one is a free improvement with great results!

The above are just some of the tips that help winterize a home. In our area, it is so crucial to proactively take care of our homes, as our temperatures swing drastically from summer to winter. Please let us know if we can answer any questions. Also, check out the below links for further/additional information.

http://www.nh.gov/oep/energy/saving-energy/conservation/winterize-home.htm

http://www.bobvila.com/clean-gutters/10169-11-ways-to-winterize-your-home-on-a-budget/slideshows

http://www.businessinsider.com/cheap-tips-to-winterize-your-home-2011-10?op=1