The secret to keeping your home cozy throughout a chilly Cincinnati winter is all in the preparation. You have to plan to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. The team at Herrmann Services has created this checklist to help you cover all the bases when it comes to comfort. Follow these tips and you’ll stay snug and warm till the daffodils start to bloom.
Keep Old Man Winter Outside Where He Belongs
The first goal is keeping the cold air out. Here are some things to address:
1. Add Weatherstripping around Your Windows and Doors
Check the weatherstripping around all of your windows and doors and replace it if it is showing signs of brittleness or is smashed down flat. If you don’t have weatherstripping, it’s easy to install and affordable too. Just pick some up at your neighborhood home improvement store. This quick and inexpensive fix can dramatically reduce your heating bills this winter. Plus, it will help you save on your air conditioning bills next summer, too.
2. Check Your Attic Insulation
This is one of the smartest investments you can make in your home. According to the Energy Star website, “If you added up all the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home’s envelope, it would be the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year!” Wow! When you think of it that way, it really makes sense. Insulation can also settle over time, so if you haven’t checked yours in a while, now is a great time to make sure you have enough. These tips show you where and how to check your home for the right amount of insulation.
The next step is keeping warm air in. That means making sure your furnace is running at peak efficiency and will continue to heat your home effectively. There are two things you can do to ensure it will work all winter without a problem.
Your Furnace Needs Some Love
Your furnace sits all summer, but as your air conditioner runs, it collects dirt and dust from the air all summer long. It’s important to start with a clean filter to help your furnace run efficiently. Not to mention, a dirty furnace filter doesn’t keep your air very clean and your home will be closed up for months at a time during winter.
3. Change Your Furnace Filter
Changing the filter in your furnace is a quick, inexpensive task that can make a noticeable difference in your utility bills and the lifespan of your furnace. All of the air going into your furnace and coming back out passes through the filter. If your filter is clogged with dirt, it slows down that airflow and can cause pressure and heat to build up within your furnace. At the very least, a dirty filter will lessen the efficiency of your furnace. Plus, changing your air filter helps to prevent more serious problems down the road, like breakdowns that can cost you a lot more money than regular maintenance would.
4. Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up
Now is the time to get your furnace tune-up. During a furnace tune-up, a technician will check the electrical connections, calibrate the thermostat, check for carbon monoxide leaks, and make sure your furnace is operating properly. An annual tune-up can reduce your utility bill by making sure your furnace is running efficiently and it will also reduce the chance of a breakdown in the middle of winter.
Don’t Forget These Critical Items
There are a couple of other areas you want to make sure you don’t forget to check before winter. While these aren’t as related to the temperature in your home, they are certainly critical pieces of home equipment that shouldn’t be overlooked.
5. Check Your Sump Pump before the Fall Rains
A sump pump is one of your home’s most critical machines. Once your basement or lower level is flooded, it’s too late to make sure it’s working properly. Make sure to check it every couple of months. It’s fast and easy to check. Just follow these instructions. Checking your sump pump before the big rains can save you a lot of hassle and a lot of money.
A great addition to your sump pump is a battery-backup sump pump. Unfortunately, when thunderstorms are often accompanied by power outages, which means your sump pump can’t work without electricity. A battery-backup pump will run whether there is electricity or not and can even kick in to help your main pump if demand becomes too much for it.
6. Change Batteries in CO Detectors & Smoke Alarms
Another critical item to check is your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Did you remember to do this in the spring? It’s a good idea to replace the batteries in all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year. Nothing is more important than keeping your family safe.
Check these 6 areas this fall and enjoy a warm, cozy, and safe home this winter!