Unfortunately, summer has passed and we are moving through fall here in Northeast Ohio. That means that all too soon snowflakes will be seen on those chilly morning breezes and the cold will set in. Thoughts drift to keeping the home warm and how to do it efficiently so as to avoid astronomical heating bills throughout the winter. Here are five tips to help accomplish just that:
- The first, and arguably easiest, thing that a homeowner can do to make their furnace run more efficiently is change the furnace filter. Just changing the furnace filter can help to reduce fuel usage while running the furnace. A new filter will help the furnace motor to not run as hard and prolong the life of the furnace. Furnace filters usually need changed every three months. If they are changed more frequently, that would be ideal.
- Try to keep doors and windows closed as much as possible when the temperature plummets. Remember Dad saying: “Are we paying to heat the outdoors?” When a door is open, you’re essentially doing just that. Open the door, walk in or out, and then close it right behind you. No need to hang out having a conversation with the door sitting wide open letting all of the heat in your home escape right out the door. Your furnace will have to work to replace that lost heat.
- Seal around all windows with a good interior/ exterior caulk. Invest in a caulk gun – it doesn’t need to be fancy. Don’t forget to pull the interior trim off and seal any cracks. A minimal expanding foam insulation will also do the trick. Make sure it’s minimal expanding because the full expanding foam will bow the window and door jambs creating a whole new set of problems.
- Invest in a door sweep. That little space at the bottom of exterior doors lets in a ton of cold air. If it has a sweep already, check it and make sure that it isn’t worn.
- Get a chimney balloon. A surprising amount of warm air literally goes right out the chimney. Go to your local home improvement store and ask for a chimney balloon. Unless, of, course the fireplace is used constantly to help contribute to the heating of your home.
Winter is nearly here along with its cold, frigid air. With a few preparations, there is no reason that your home can’t be a warm and comfortable refuge from the cold.