As winter fast approaches, it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather. By accomplishing these 10 simple tasks, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency and protect it against damage caused by rain, snow and freezing temperatures.

  1. Arrange for a home energy audit.
    This is done by a professional and can help you uncover any issues or problems with your home before the cold weather sets in.

  2. Feel for under-door drafts.
    You may be surprised at how much energy we lose underneath doors that are not properly sealed. To cut down on energy loss, you can use a “draft snake” or replace the weather stripping beneath your door.

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  3. Seal around windows.
    You may be losing heat around your windows as well. By making sure they are properly caulked, you may cut your heating bill dramatically.

  4. Add insulation.
    Many older homes have little or no insulation in the attic. Adding insulation to the attic, walls or floors can make a big difference in winter (conserving heat) and summer (keeping the cool air in).

  5. Update your appliances.
    By upgrading an old furnace, or purchasing more efficient appliances, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency while keeping it warm during those cold weather months.

  6. Change the direction of your ceiling fan.
    Did you know that rotating your fan clockwise produces warmer air, and counterclockwise produces cooler air? It’s true!

  7. Install a programmable thermostat.
    Keeping temperatures lower at night can save you a lot of money on heating costs.Additionally, smart thermostats or temperature monitors will wirelessly alert you to unusually low temperatures in the home, which is a possible precursor to freezing pipes.

  8. Lower your water heater temperature.
    By keeping the maximum temperature of your water heater just a little lower it will consume less energy, which can also save money.

  9. Keep your home temperature no lower than 65 degrees.
    While you want to save money (especially if you’re away), you also need to make sure your pipes don’t freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break.  Consider covering outside faucets with insulation kits, or installing leak detection systems to shut down the water system and alert you of any issues.

  10. Clean your gutters regularly.
    Clear roof gutters and downspouts so they can drain properly and won’t cause issues with ice build-up or water overflow during a storm.

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