Eco-Friendly Tips For Preparing For The Winter
As the dog days of summer wind down, the cool temperatures are just around the corner. They’ll be here before you know it, bringing with them fallen leaves, Halloween decorations, and a long list of fall-time chores as homeowners prepare for the impending winter. Winter can be harsh on your home, so it’s important you prepare for it well before it arrives. If you’re wondering how you can maximize your fall-time winterization, check in with these eco-friendly tips. From draft-busting tricks to appliance maintenance pointers, they’ll help you prepare your home and save you money.
Examine your windows and doors
The windows and doors of your home are massive heat sucks — leaching as much as 40 percent of the heat in your home. Thin panes and damaged weather stripping put unnecessary strain on your furnace as it attempts to replace the heat lost through these points. You can take the pressure off this appliance and your energy bill by focusing on your windows this fall. Inspect the weather stripping around all your windows and doors carefully. Use caulking to repair any damage to re-establish the seal around your windows.
If your windows are old or they’re single-paned, then they’re inefficient. In the best case scenario, you should replace these windows with triple-paned, heat-insulated alternatives. If this isn’t in your budget, you can improve your leaky window’s ability to retain heat by installing plastic window insulation kits and draft guards.
Cleaning your furnace
Though it may not feel like it now, soon the mercury will dip low enough to warrant turning on your furnace. Along with cooling your house, heating accounts for roughly 48 percent of the energy use in your home. Making sure it’s running efficiently will prevent it from using up any more power than it needs to keep your space warm. You can do this by keeping it clean and replacing old air filters, so it doesn’t have to work hard to circulate air. You may also want to contact your local repair service to perform a diagnostic checkup.
An essential repair can end up you costing you a lot up front, but it has considerable long-term savings potential. Replacing an old furnace with a high-efficiency model promises even more savings down the line. Review your finances to see what you can afford. In some cases, a repair technician is willing to help by offering a deferred payment plan that breaks up what you owe over several installments. You can also find help with a payday loans direct lender like MoneyKey, an online direct lender in many of the states they operate in. Some lenders offer similar installment repayment plans with installment loans online, so learn about choosing an online lender before you take on any essential repairs.
Winterize your AC
It’s not enough just to turn your AC off for the winter. You need to take a few simple steps before it’s prepared for the season properly. Drain any hoses and pipes of water to make sure there’s no standing water in the equipment that could freeze as the mercury dips. You should also check the exterior water spigot that connects to this appliance.
Turn down the temperature
Most people set their furnace and water heater far too high for what they need. You can save as much as 3 percent of your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. Meanwhile, lowering your heater’s set temperature to 120°F can save you as much as 10 percent on your water heating bill. If you’re still cold, try wearing more layers, drinking hot tea, and snuggling up under blankets to ward off the chill.
Though the winter may feel far away, it will be here before you know it. While the changing leaves in October provide a beautiful backdrop of colors, the season poses some challenges to the organized homeowner. Tweak your list of fall-time chores so they’re eco-friendly. They’ll help prepare your home for the upcoming winter—and save you some money, too.