Winter’s here, and while a lot of home and yard chores have come to a temporary halt, there are still lots of things you can do to save on energy costs and protect your home from winter damage. Here are a few ideas to consider:
If you haven’t…
- … Cleaned your gutters, there’s still time to avoid ice dams and clogs that can cause interior leaks, just be careful placing ladders on frozen ground.
- … Had your furnace serviced, don’t delay. Regular servicing can make your unit run much more efficiently, which could mean big savings for you.
- … Installed a de-icing cable, consider adding one now to ward off snow that falls between now and spring.
- … Drained your outdoor spigots, do it now and avoid a costly repair if the spigot freezes and breaks.
- … Reversed your ceiling fans, do it now so they blow warm air down into the room and away from the ceiling instead of drawing cold air up from the floor.
- Keep leaves and other debris away from the side of your house. When winter winds blow, leaves, twigs and other debris can wind up providing a snug entryway for mice. Make an effort to keep your foundation clear.
- January is a great time to save on energy-saving new appliances. Every year, stores offer some of their best deals to welcome in the New Year. Shop smart for the best energy-saving features.
- Buy extensions for your downspouts to direct water at least three to four feet away from your home; do this now so you’re ready for spring rains.
- Find leaks and plug them. Light a match and pass it around windows, doors and outlets. If the flame flickers, you’ve got a leak. Use caulk or install plastic window film to block leaks, and start pricing new windows if necessary. For outlets and light switches, buy foam backing insulation made especially for this purpose.
- Change your heater filters often. Even a little debris can have a big impact on how well your furnace operates, so replace filters often and wash reusable ones at least weekly during the height of heater season.
- Rearrange your furniture so it’s not near windows or exterior walls where leaking air and cold walls can decrease the ambient temperature.
- Move furniture away from heater ducts and invest in deflectors that make sure heat is being routed into the room, not up a wall or under a table or drapes.
- Hang insulated drapes or colorful quilts in front of windows, and be sure to open south-facing windows on sunny days to let the sunshine warm your home naturally.
- Have a couple pairs of old pantyhose or tights? Put one leg inside another for double thickness, then fill with kitty litter for a quick, DIY draft dodger that can keep drafts from creeping in under doors.
- Install an automatic thermostat that changes the temperature when you leave for work and before bed, then turns it up again when you’re up and about.
Winter is also a great time for planning. If you’re considering a new irrigation system or you need to have your existing one serviced or upgraded, call now and schedule your appointment to avoid the spring rush.