I like cold weather about as much as I like getting paper cuts. Or finding a spider in my car while driving. (Have you ever had that happen? It’s the worst.) And yet, I never seem to move to a city without a freezing winter.
While there’s nothing I can do about controlling the weather outside this winter, we can all plan ahead to keep that cold weather outdoors – not leaking into your home through window cracks and doors.
Beat the crowds and get your home ready now before the chilly weather hits to lower your energy bill, reduce maintenance costs, and keep your family safe this winter.
Windows and doors
- Check the condition of putty around windowpanes, and reseal if putty is cracked or coming off.
- Make sure all windows open and shut properly.
- A few inexpensive tubes of caulk for your windows and rolls of weather-stripping for your doors can help reduce heating bills by 20 percent.
Heating and ventilation
- Adjust vents by opening those near the floor and closing those near the ceiling for better winter circulation.
- Have your heating system checked by a professional before you turn it on for the first time this fall and consider replacing the heating system if it is older than 15 years. Plus, you may be eligible for a rebate for a new furnace.
- Replace your furnace filters.
- Install winter covers or remove A/C units for the season.
Air-sealing and insulation
- Make sure attic insulation is rated at least R30 and walls are R11.
- Insulate crawl spaces, pipes and ducts running through unheated areas.
- Check for gaps around pipes and wires that go through exterior walls. Caulk so no air can leak through.
- If you're making improvements to insulation and air-sealing, see if you qualify for a rebate.
Carbon monoxide safety
- Never operate a vehicle, lawn mower, snow blower or other fuel-burning equipment in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Do not use your gas range or oven for heat.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home. Check the expiration date on the ones that you have and replace them if necessary.