On average, heating a home with natural gas creates about 6,400 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, while using electric heat creates about 4,700 pounds of CO2. Getting your home ready for the winter will not only help you save money on your heating bills, it will also make your home more comfortable and more environmentally friendly by lowering your carbon footprint. Here we have assembled our checklist for winterizing your home. Most of the items on the list are simple projects that you can do yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans can actually help to heat your home in the wintertime. Set your fan to rotate clockwise during the winter so that it creates an updraft. This will help to bring the warm air near the ceiling down to the rest of the room. Check out our top selling ceiling fans.
Check the exterior of your house
There are plenty of places around the exterior of your house where gaps and cracks can let warm air escape. Thoroughly inspect the entire outside of your house, paying special attention to the foundation, gutters, roof, windows, doors and places where pipes/wires/vents enter your home.
Install a radiant barrier in your attic
There are some great products like the Reflectix Radiant Barrier
that you can easily install to help block the movement of warm air out to your attic. Think of it almost like thick aluminum foil, that comes in a large roll and you staple it to the joists in your attic. You can roll it over your existing insulation either on the attic floor joists or on the roof joist.
Install storm doors and windows
Storm doors can not only help during the winter when they help to seal up your door, but they also help during the summer when you can replace the glass with a screen to let the breeze in.
Clean your vents and duct work
Having your vents and duct work professionally cleaned will help your HVAC system run more efficiently and also make the air circulating through your house cleaner by removing dust and pollen build up from the ducts.
Check for leaks in your vents and ducts
Pay special attention to the connection points between ducts and where the ducts attach to your furnace. If you feel air escaping, then you need to seal the hole. Silver duct tape is a quick and easy fix.
Use caulking and weatherstriping around windows and doors
Caulking and weatherstriping are two more cheap and easy do-it-yourself projects that can help reduce drafts.
Cover your windows with a plastic window insulation kit
Plastic window insulation kits are inexpensive and easy to install. These are temporary barriers that you put over your windows to help keep out the drafts and when installed properly, they are hardly noticeable. The 3M Indoor Window Insulation Kit
is a great choice.
Winterize your pipes
This includes insulating all exposed plumbing pipes and draining the water from your garden hose spouts, garden hoses, air conditioner pipes and pool pipes.
Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends replacing your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries every year and testing them monthly. This is particularly important during the winter to protect you from the dangers of carbon monoxide.