Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Is Your Home Ready For Winter?


Source: www.eere.gov
Winter home
Autumn is a time of transition; as the days grow shorter, the leaves turn color and soon they begin to fall. With winter on the way, now is the time to make the changes necessary to get your home ready for winter. The following tips will help you minimize energy costs and keep your family comfortable all winter long.


Doors and Windows

  • Replace worn weather stripping around all doors and windows.
  • Caulk gaps in windows and door glass.
  • If you do not have storm doors, consider installing them.
  • Replace older, single-pane windows with new, high-performance models.

Insulation and Sealing 

  • Adequate attic insulation is essential in keeping your house warm and saving on winter heating bills. Add or replace attic insulation as necessary. See the U.S. Department of Energy's Insulation Fact Sheet for the recommended R-value of insulation for your area.
  • Add foam insulation gaskets to electrical outlets and switches on external walls (remember to turn off the power first).
  • Look for gaps or holes in attic soffit and knee walls, basement rim joists (where the foundation meets wood framing), as well as plumbing and wiring access. Seal by stuffing with insulation or expandable foam or caulk.

Heating System

  • Have your heating system inspected by a certified professional before cold weather arrives.
  • Clean vents and other heating system components.
  • Replace your furnace filter now, and continue routine replacement throughout the heating season.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat; it will help you save on energy costs by automatically lowering temperatures at night while you are sleeping, and when you are away from home.
  • If your heating system is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new furnace or heat pump that is ENERGY STAR certified.

 Chimney and Fireplace 

  • Have your chimney and fireplace checked and cleaned by a professional.
  • Repair or replace a loose-fitting fireplace damper to prevent heat loss through the chimney, and make sure the damper is closed whenever the fireplace is not in use.
  • Fireplace inserts, covers, glass doors, and flue sealers, also help to prevent heat loss through your fireplace chimney. 

Outside Your Home

  • Replace missing or damaged roof shingles.
  • Clean the gutters and make sure downspouts point away from the house.
  • Make sure the flashing around the chimney and vent pipes is sealed tightly.
  • Trim tree limbs that touch or hang over your home.

A home energy audit is a great way to find opportunities to lower your utility bill this winter and all year round. For more information, see Give Your Home an Energy Checkup.

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