Winter is coming. Is your home ready to keep the heat in and the cold out? Taking care of these issues can make your home more energy efficient. Winterization saves YOU Money!
1. Set the water heater temperature to no more than 120o. (Temperatures above this level can cause severe burns.)
2. Insulate the water heater and all water pipes in unheated areas.
3. Installing a low flow shower head can save about 1½ gallons of hot water per minute of use.
4. Insulate air ducts in crawl spaces, attics and unheated garages.
5. Caulk around windows and doors; places where brick façade and siding meet; and all utility entrances (cable TV, plumbing, gas, telephone, etc).
6. Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and insulate the faucet to prevent freezing of the water pipe.
7. Check and repair the glazing putty around window panes. If you have single pane windows, install storm windows.
8. Close the fireplace flue damper and the glass firebox doors when not in use.
9. To avoid fire danger, make sure you have the chimney flue inspected and cleaned, each year, by a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (http://www.csia.org/)
10. Clean out the clothes dryer vent flapper so that it will close.
11. Check the sump pump and drain line for proper operation.
12. Make sure your roof gutters and downspouts are clean and drain well away from the foundation. Clogged gutters can result in ice dams forming on your roof and causing damage to your roof.
13. Have your furnace servicing professional:
Check for Carbon Monoxide;
Make sure the burner flame is properly adjusted;
Clean out rust flakes in the heat exchanger;
Clean the blades on the blower fan;
Make sure the furnace and water heater flues are properly connected.
14. Remember to change your Air Conditioning/Furnace filters every 30 to 45 days.
15. Insulate floors over an unheated crawl space with at least 6" of insulation. Un-insulated floors lose more heat than the ceiling. Insulation in Batt form (small short pieces) is easiest for the do-it-yourself person to install.
16. Install gaskets behind outlet and switch covers on the outside walls. Cost is minimal and installation requires only a screwdriver.
17. Don't close attic, roof, and crawl space vents. Moist winter air will condense, soak the insulation, and ruin the insulating effect.
18. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that will adjust the temperature in your home automatically during periods when your home is not occupied or you are sleeping.
Keep the bucks in your pocket, winterize now.