As fall comes to an end, many Connecticut homeowners can already feel colder conditions coming. This time of year, make it a priority to winterize your home to stay warm, protect your property and ensure everything works correctly. Prepare for the colder months with these five tips.
Clean Your Furnace Filters
Furnaces are typically associated with warmth, yet a clogged unit or dirty filter restricts airflow, decreases performance and increases your energy bill. Not to mention, an improperly functioning heat source could be putting bacteria and mold into the air you breathe.
To help improve efficiency, change your system’s filters at least once during the season or consider switching to a permanent electrostatic or HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filters are said to trap and remove 80 to almost 100 percent of all airborne particles.
Drain Your Water Lines and Heater
Spend some time draining your air conditioner’s hoses and pipes, making sure no water has gathered inside the equipment. As a preventative measure, turn off any spigots and shutoff valves. If your home has a window unit, remove it for the season to block an easy path for drafts.
On a similar note, your water heater needs to be cleaned thoroughly as well. Drain the system of any particles and sediment – as buildup reduces its performance – by flushing water through the drain valve.
Cut Down on Drafts and Leaks
No one wants a higher heating bill. Yet, when you allow cool air in and hot to escape, this is exactly what happens. As your first line of defense, look out for areas where this pathway happens – windows and doors – and add a draft snake or similar device.
What if the draft snake is too large? Small cracks decrease your home’s energy efficiency by as much as 30 percent. To combat lower performance, survey your house’s corners, chimneys, pipes, wires and foundation. Also get ready to make minor repairs with a caulk gun or weather stripping.
Storm Doors and Windows
By design, storm doors close off drafts, restrict air flow and can improve your home’s energy efficiency by as much as 45 percent. As an added benefit, storm doors may even let natural light into your home. When they have low-E glass, storm doors offer a similar degree of performance. If you haven’t done so already, schedule this installation before winter arrives.
As a secondary protective measure, supplement your storm window with an insulation kit. This invisible plastic, installed right over the glass, acts as a barrier against drafts and air passing through, helping your home conserve heat better.
Insulate Your Pipes
Cold conditions increase the chances your pipes will freeze and expand, burst and cause water damage. To avoid this insurance claim, have your pipes insulated, especially those in walls or close to the outside.
To save money on heating costs this winter, consider By Carrier’s energy-smart homes. To learn about our custom communities in Connecticut, give us a call today.