With temperatures beginning to plunge, it’s time to winterize your home and get ready to save money on those dreaded winter heating bills. A few small adjustments or upgrades can save you a lot of money over the course of those bitter cold and windy Philadelphia winters. Here are a few tips to use to get your home ready for whatever the northeast winter will bring us.
Chimneys And Gutters
It’s important to never underestimate simple maintenance when it comes to winterizing your home. Common items often overlooked by homeowners according to U.S. News and World Reports includes the routine cleaning of chimneys and gutters.
- Clean out your gutters: Do not neglect clogged gutters. Winterizing your home not only includes preparing to heat it but also maintaining certain items such as the gutters which could be problematic in the upcoming winter months. A clogged gutter allows water to turn into ice inside the gutter. A clean gutter will allow snow and rain to flow freely without freezing and causing damage to your home’s structure.
- Sweep the Chimney: If your home is lucky enough to enjoy the beauty, warmth, and luxury of a fireplace, remember this needs to be maintained and prepared for the winter season. In fact, just because you do not have a fireplace, doesn’t mean your chimney shouldn’t be cleaned! Clean your chimney to maintain a safe clean environment. Build up can become a fire hazard.
- An underperforming furnace or boiler is the easiest way to burn money in the winter. Imagine using gas or electricity to light this furnace and it’s not performing up to par. It can become a frustrating nightmare but is completely avoidable with routine maintenance. Schedule a checkup before temperatures drop. Items such as air ducts, filters, fan belts, and vents need to be inspected, cleaned, or changed. While checking the furnace, saving more money may be possible by turning the water heater to the energy saver setting. Check to see if this is an option for your household to further reduce costs.
Seal Cracks And Drafts
- Checking for cracks: Inspect windows and door jambs. Find the source of any drafts and seal them up. Add weather-stripping to doors that have wide gaps at the bottom. When cold air gets inside the home, it can drive the cost of heating bills through the roof. No one wants to pay additional money when cold air creeps inside your home so make sure to seal all those cracks!
- Thick curtains and fluffy area rugs are common items that can also help tremendously in cutting costs. The added layers these items provide can help to insulate the floors and windows of a home. In addition, ResNet says that siding has a lot to do with how well a home is insulated. It acts as a barrier against cold windy winters and helps keep heat out during the summer. Inspect the siding around unattached homes. Check for cracks, torn pieces, or lifting. The smallest of flaws can have a compounding effect on your home’s insulation and ultimately the property’s heating costs.
Insulation is winter’s bitter enemy. Block out that cold winter air by properly insulating your home. Not only are cracks and drafts important to address, but the entire home as a whole needs to be insulated from the battering northeast winds. Insulation keeps heat inside where it belongs. Philadelphia Gas Works suggests that improperly installed windows can also contribute to the soaring costs of heating bills. Replace worn out, warped windows with storm windows that will block out drafts and be more wind resistant. This will help keep your home warm.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
With the digital advances of today’s modern technologies thermostats have been upgraded in exciting ways. Many now allow users to control their winter heating costs invariably with programmable thermostats. According to Philadelphia Weekly, an older inaccurate thermostat can provide incorrect readings and force your boiler or furnace to work harder than it needs to. Newer digital and programmable thermostats are more accurate and easier to customize in order to drive heating costs down while you aren’t home or are asleep.