The time has come to hunker down and wait out the winter, and with those dropping temps often come rising utility bills. Here are some tips to winterize your home, which will increase efficiency, save energy, and lower costs!
1. Prevent drafts. Many people purchase or make “door snakes” to block icy drafts from creeping in under doors. A rolled up towel or blanket works!
2. Change furnace filters. Clogged, dirty filters restrict airflow and make your furnace work harder. If you have a really old furnace you may want to consider replacing it, though this can be pricey.
3. Fans. They aren’t just for keeping cool. Running your fans in a clockwise direction brings warm air down into the living space. Most fans come with a switch on the side that changes the direction of the blades’ rotation.
4. Protect water lines. Drain hoses and AC water lines, and if your unit has one, turn off the water shut-off valve.
5. Turn down your water heater. This works in the summer too – some water heaters are set at a temperature that you might not find necessary.
6. Install storm doors and windows. A great option for homeowners! Prevents drafts and seals in the warm (or cool) air.
7. Check your heating system. Just like a car, heating equipment needs a tune-up too!
8. Regulate the thermostat. If you’re not in the house, you can turn the thermostat down to a safe level. Keep in mind, a warm house will help prevent frozen pipes, and remember your pets need warmth too!
9. Plastic window liners. When installed properly, these aren’t very noticeable and do wonders to prevent air leakage.
In Louisville, a local non-profit called Project Warm provides free weatherization services and workshops for both home owners and renters who meet the criteria. They can provide loads of information and valuable resources for winterizing your home.