NOAA may be predicting a milder winter for New England this year, but that doesn’t mean that cold weather won’t be a part of our lives for the next few months. This Fall has featured plenty of rain and mild temperatures, but many suburbs have seen overnight-lows in the 20s already. Is your home ready for the cold to come? Do you know how to get your home ready for winter? These are some easy wins that you can do right now that will make a difference.
Reverse your fans
Fans are essential for summertime cooling, but they can play a big role in your winter comfort as well. Science class teaches that warm air rises. When your ceiling fans spin clockwise, they push that warm air downward, recirculating it throughout the room. The point is to keep the warm air down at your level, warming you and not the ceiling. Remember to turn your fans off when you leave the room.
Install your storm windows
If the screens are still down on your windows, you are giving away your warm air. Take the time now to go around and pull down the storm windows, which can reduce heat loss by upwards of 20%, according to the Department of Energy.
Consider your window treatments
With the holidays around the corner and company coming to town, you might not be keen on covering your windows with plastic to keep out the draft. That’s understandable. If you are looking for a more aesthetically pleasing solution (and you are redecorating anyway), consider window treatments that can also insulate your windows and keep out some of that cold air. There are a lot of options out there and even the most conventional fabrics can make a difference.
Perform a little maintenance
If your furnace hasn’t been professionally inspected and cleaned, now is the time to make that appointment. If you haven’t changed the filter for your air system, now is the time to look at that, too. (Set up a recurring appointment in your calendar to change your filters every 30 days). This is also a good time to take a look at your chimney and call a professional for any maintenance it might need.
Don’t forget to program your thermostat
During the day, setting your thermostat for as low as you feel comfortable is a great way to save a bit of money on your heating bills. At night time, knocking back the temperature anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees lower than your daytime temperature can also make a real difference in your energy use. Do what you feel is comfortable for you and your family, but know that a programmable thermostat can help you maintain the temperatures you want automatically, adjusting for time of day and activity levels. If you haven’t taken a look at the range of programmable thermostats lately, now might be a great time, especially with many home improvement stores offering holiday deals.
Preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be an arduous chore. Little adjustments can make a big difference in how much energy you use and how much money you spend on it this winter. Taking the time now (while there isn’t any snow on the ground) will save you from the headache of doing more things later!
Are you thinking about how much energy your home consumes each year? Thinking about making a significant change in 2019? Get in touch with us. We’d be happy to talk to you about how solar can make a difference in your energy consumption and utility bills!
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