√ Stop Gaps
Reduce your heating bills by reducing drafts.
- Seal gaps in your siding, walls and attic spaces where cold air, and critters, can infiltrate. Use spray-foam insulation, or fill in gaps smaller than 3/8″ with caulk.
- Insulate your windows from the outside or inside. Windows are one of the most energy inefficient areas of the home. You can install storm windows or use clear plastic sheeting from a window insulation kit to cut drafts down while keeping your view.
√ Warm Things Up
Save energy and keep your heat sources in working order.
- Have your furnace professionally inspected and cleaned each fall before cold weather sets in.
- Change your furnace filter to ensure your system runs smoothly and captures airborne particles.
- Target your coldest rooms with a space heater. Never leave them unattended. An automatic shut-off is a smart feature to prevent overheating if you accidentally leave it unattended.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Automatically turn down your heat at night or when you’re not home during the workday.
- Stock up on firewood if you have a wood burning fireplace or heat source.
√ Prep for the Extreme
Stock up on supplies in case Mother Nature strikes with a vengeance.
- Create an emergency kit. Include a first aid kit, battery-powered radio, flashlights and lanterns, and fresh batteries. A manual can opener and canned food, non-perishable items and a three-day supply of drinking water should be part of your kit.
- If you experience power outages in your area, consider purchasing a generator. NEVER operate a generator indoors, as the engine exhaust contains potentially fatal carbon monoxide.
- If you experience snowfalls. Stock up on snow shovels, ice scrapers, snow thrower fuel and salt or sand to keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow.
√ Clean Gutters
In both metal and plastic gutters, water and debris can cause cracks, mold and rust. And clogged gutters can overflow, defeating the purpose of diverting water away from your foundation.
- Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to blast away debris like leaves, tree branches and muck. Spray water in the downspout to clear any clogs.
- Fix leaks at the gutter seams with sealant.