Say goodbye to summer; it’s officially fall! And winter will be here before you know it. Before the days get too dark, cold, and depressing to want to do anything, complete some of your winterization tasks now. Winter is always harsh on a heating system and a home; that’s why we recommend winterizing your home in the fall.
From scheduling fall furnace maintenance to changing the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors, this checklist will ensure that your home is safe and comfortable all fall and winter long. Winter can be harsh, but with some preparation you won’t have to worry about staying warm. Building and fire safety is another big issue during the winter and holiday months, as is adding extra insulation where necessary.
7 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home
You can work with a professional to check off some of these tasks, while others can be completed on your own. Purchase some extra furnace filters and batteries because before you know it Old Man Winter will be knocking at your door.
- Follow through with fall furnace maintenance – Annual maintenance is crucial for keeping your HVAC system in top condition throughout the year. We recommend scheduling professional HVAC tune-ups once in the spring before summer, and once in the fall before winter. A furnace inspection guarantees that any lurking issues will be handled before it breaks down from being overrun on a dangerously chilly day. Inspections are important for energy savings, system safety, indoor air quality, and winter comfort.
- Reverse your ceiling fans – Many people don’t even realize that there are multiple settings on their ceiling fans. You can use your ceiling fans to assist in keeping your home warm in the winter by revering the direction of the blades. In the winter the blades should rotate clockwise. Clockwise rotation pushes the warm air down and recirculates it throughout the room. Alongside your heater, your home will stay toasty all winter long. Learn how to choose the right ceiling fan for your home.
- Prepare to change the furnace filter regularly – When you are using the furnace more often, the filter needs to be changed more often to accommodate the increased use. Disposable filters will need to be changed every 30-60 days (inspect them every month). There are some reusable types of filters that you can research or ask your local HVAC professional about. They will be able to recommend what will work best in your system if you are interested in upgrading.
- Check smoke & carbon monoxide detectors – Winter is the peak season for home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Holiday cooking, yule logs, and running heating systems all increase the likelihood. Check the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms and change them if needed. Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will be inspected during a fall maintenance inspection by a Service Champions technician.
- Inspect and clean your chimney – Hire someone for a certified fireplace and chimney inspection and cleaning before the winter hits. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned is important for safety. An inspection will determine if there has been any creosote buildup, or perhaps even an animal nest dwelling in there through the off-seasons.
- Insulate and weather-strip – Your attic may need additional insulation and your windows may need to be weather-stripped in order to make it through the winter with the greatest energy-efficiency. Weather-stripping your doors and windows will keep the cold air out and reduce your power bills. You can also block the cold by caulking around your windows and installing door sweeps. Learn more insulation and air sealing tips.
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat – Upgrading to a programmable thermostat allows you to customize your comfort level, both when you are home and when you are away. By being able to dictate the temperature when you aren’t home, you will be saving money and still keeping your home at a temperature that will best fit your needs when you come back home. Many thermostats even have technology that links your phone, giving you complete control over how warm your home will stay all winter. Learn about NEST smart thermostats and programmable thermostats.
Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.
Interested in more ideas on how to winterize your home? Contact Service Champions for advice.