If your thermostat is old, upgrade to a programmable one. A programmable thermostat allows you to turn your temperature down while you’re gone or sleeping and back up to a comfortable level when you want it.
The Citizens Utility Board has tips to prepare homes for the frigid months ahead.
Seal windows and doors. Even though your windows and doors are shut, heat could still be escaping through small gaps and crevices that aren’t properly sealed. Spend some time inspecting windows for cracks and trim for wood decay, and checking unexpected places for drafts. Seal them using weather-stripping or caulk, or opt for storm doors and windows to prevent the heat from seeping out.
Maintain heating system. Make sure your home’s heating system is running efficiently and effectively by scheduling routine maintenance. If seasonal maintenance costs too much, do a test-run on your heating source yourself. Keep your heater from overworking by replacing air filters monthly or removing dust from vents. Ensure air is distributed evenly throughout the house by keeping heating vents open and clear of obstacles, like a carpet or furniture.
Upgrade thermostat. If your thermostat is old, upgrade to a programmable one. A programmable thermostat allows you to turn your temperature down while you’re gone or sleeping and back up to a comfortable level when you want it. When the thermostat is set low, run a ceiling fan clockwise (from your position, looking up at it) to pull the warm air down. Don’t forget to turn off the fan when you leave the room.
Add insulation. Reduce the amount of heat flowing out of your house by insulating exposed pipes and your water heater. Most older homes were built without insulation but adding foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates and between the walls and to the attic floor and the basement ceiling is an easy way to cut heating costs. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your attic floor. If the insulation is even with or below the attic floor joints, consider adding more.
Check outside. Damaged roofs and chimneys can allow the chilly air to sneak in and cause your energy bills to go up. Look for missing and damaged shingles on your roof and check the chimney, gutters and downspouts for needed repairs.
By following CUB’s simple tips, you’ll be rewarded with a winter-ready home and lower energy bills.