Many regions of the country are experiencing unseasonably high temperatures this fall. This makes it the perfect time to prepare the home for the upcoming winter season. Attention should shift from protecting the house from heat and humidity to insulating the structure so it will be a warm and comfortable living space during winter. Follow these guidelines to address potential problems before cold winds begin blowing.
You will need:
Step 1: Have the HVAC system inspected and maintained to ensure safe, efficient operation throughout winter. Install a new air filter on the furnace and have the equipment cleaned and serviced before turning it on for the season. If the system requires replacement, ask local utility providers if they offer incentives for upgrading to more energy-efficient models.
Step 2: Wrap the hot water heater with an insulated hot water tank blanket. Wrap exposed hot water pipes with pipe insulation to preserve the heat in the water and reduce energy bills.
Step 3: Upgrade old home thermostats to programmable models that keep the interior climate comfortable while reducing energy bills. Keep interior temperature lower when family members are away at work and school and during sleeping hours.
Step 4: Have a home energy professional perform a whole-house energy audit or do this yourself. Check doors, windows, baseboards, pipes, fireplace dampers, wall switches, and electrical outlets for air leaks. Fill in drafty areas with spray foam sealant, foam gaskets, duct tape, weather-stripping, or caulk to prevent air loss.
Step 5: Air becomes drier in many areas of the country during fall and winter. A home heating system dries out this air even more, affecting the indoor air quality and creating a safety hazard. To eliminate the risk of dry air filled with static, install a humidifier on the HVAC system.