Fall To-Do List for a Warm and Cozy Home This Winter

Get a season’s worth of savings by taking a few steps now to get your home ready for the cold weather to come.

With autumn comes colorful foliage, shorter days and refreshingly cool temps. But, it also means that the not-so-refreshingly cold temps of winter aren’t far behind. So, before you pull the sweaters out of mothballs you might want to consider preparing your house for the cooler months ahead. After all, the time to prevent heat loss and huge energy bills is now, before the cold weather hits. Here are a few tips that will leave your home feeling warmer without turning up the heat. Plus, you’ll save both energy and money:

Give your furnace a tune up

It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. For about $80 to $100, a professional technician can make sure your furnace and/or heat pump is in good repair and that all systems are a “go.” If your furnace has seen better days, consider replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. After the initial investment, you’ll likely spend less to heat your home over time.

Eliminate drafty windows and doors

In houses, there’s lots of potential for cold air to come in and warm air to leak out. Until those leaks are plugged, insulation won’t perform properly and energy costs will be unnecessarily high. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use.1 Try installing foam or rubber weather stripping on the sides and bottom door sweeps of exterior doors to help prevent drafts. For a simple DIY approach, place a rolled bath towel at the base of a drafty door.

For your windows, try a window insulation kit. When properly installed, it’s essentially invisible. And for just a few dollars it provides an added buffer against drafts.

Reverse those ceiling fans

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heater. This will push warmer air down from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

Change your air filter

We know it’s easy to forget, but it’s important to check, clean or replace furnace filters every month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand.

Give your insulation a boost

Much of the heat loss from your home happens in the attic, and insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered. If you think you might need more insulation, call a professional to help with installation.

Let the sun shine in

Keep your shades open on clear days and let the sun warm your home.

These aren’t big projects like adding attic insulation or replacing all your windows, but small things like insulating electrical outlets on exterior-facing walls with a foam gasket can make a big difference when it comes to reducing your home heating costs this winter.

For more ideas on how to manage your home’s temperature and be energy-efficient visit: