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Winter and its frosty windowpanes and icy winds are just around the corner. Now, while the weather is still pleasant, is the time to protect your home against high energy bills and cold, drafty nights.

How To Winterize Your Home1. Drafty doors and windows can waste as much as 30% of your energy. Avoid cold drafts by checking the weather stripping around your doors and replacing as necessary; caulk around windows. A trick to find drafts is to move a lighted incense stick around doors and windows. Where the smoke wavers, air is escaping.

2. Clean Heater Filters monthly. Filters can trap dirt and debris and keep your furnace running more efficiently.  A permanent electrostatic filter is a great investment, catching 88% of dirt and is much more efficient at controlling bacteria, mold, viruses and pollens. HEPA filters are another excellent investment. Though they cost several hundred dollars, they can remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles.

3. Winterize your air conditioning. Drain any hoses and pipes, making sure there is no excess water pooled in the equipment. If your air conditioner has a water shutoff valve, turn that off. Store drained hoses in a safe place; turn off any exterior water spigots. Remove window air conditioning units and store them carefully for next summer.

4. Check doors and windows for broken glass or cracks. Change summer screens and install storm doors and windows. Storm doors can increase energy efficiency by 45%.

5. Give your heating system a tune-up. Check with your local utility company as many of them offer free annual checkups by qualified technicians. Furnaces need to be cleaned, lubricated and adjusted each year.

6. Insulate your windows. If you don’t have storm windows, you can install window insulation kits found in your local hardware store. This tightly fitted plastic can increase the still air to hold heat and protect against drafts.

7. Increase your R Value. The insulation in your attic (rated as R-15, etc) is one of the best ways to save money and increase your energy efficiency. Recent government programs and incentives may allow you to increase your attic insulation for little or no cost to you. Call an Insulation Contractor in your area for more information.

8. Heat escapes from uninsulated pipes and sometimes these pipes can freeze. If your hot water pipes are warm to the touch, they could benefit from insulation. Many home improvement and hardware stores sell pre-cut pipe foam which you can fasten with duct tape.

9. If you have a fireplace, now is the time to prepare it for winter use. Hire a professional chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote which builds up in the chimney and creates a dangerous fire hazard. Place a screen or cap on top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.

10. Inspect roof for worn shingles or tiles and replace or repair as needed. Clean out rain gutters and downspouts and repair any damaged areas. Leaf guards installed over gutters can protect against leaf buildup throughout the year.

Taking a little time now to protect your home will save you money in energy bills and make your home a more comfortable place during the cold winter months ahead.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 5:59 PM  View Comments

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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc.
6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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