A lot of us are expecting our first big arctic blast of the year this weekend, and winter won’t be far behind. If your home isn’t ready for the frigid temperatures, you and your family will suffer from icy toes and painful utility bills for months to come.
Don’t let Old Man Winter get the better of you! These 3 essential steps, including video instructions for performing your own home energy audit, will help you track down the source of chilly drafts and budget-busting leaks, and get your home ready to keep your family cozy this winter.
Read on to find out how!
1. Do your own Home Energy Audit
Now that it’s getting colder outside, it’s the perfect time to do your own home energy audit. Rent an infrared camera at a camera store or a home improvement store such as Home Depot, and use it to detect exactly where cold air is coming into your home.
You can also take the low-tech route and use your hand to feel around windows, doors, wall joints and other vulnerable areas, but the camera makes an energy audit much easier. This video courtesy of This Old House shows you step-by-step how to perform a home energy audit, and also shows you how to repair gaps in your attic insulation, which is a problem that can let a lot of cold air into your home.
Tracking down any air leaks is the first step to keeping your house warm and saving lots of money on your energy bills this winter.
2. Winterize your Home and Keep it Cozy Inside
Now that you’ve located the areas where warm air is escaping, it’s time to put a stop to the problem.
This article has key home winterization information such as how to seal a door, how to seal a window, insulate your ductwork, keep cold air from coming down your chimney, protect your home’s pipes to prevent bursting, and keep cold air from coming in little-known places such as electric outlets and attic stairways.
No more drafty house!
3. Keep your Furnace Healthy and Working Well
Your fireplace makes a nice cozy spot to hang out near, as Basil in the photo above obviously knows. But it’s your furnace that does the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your home warm, and keeping your furnace in good shape is key in order to keep it working efficiently.
A poorly-maintained furnace will struggle to do its job, which will show up on your heating bill and also leave you shelling out big bucks for a replacement unit far sooner than you should have to. Furnace issues can even create very dangerous situations such as carbon dioxide leaks or gas leaks, which you definitely want to avoid.
This article has tips on regular furnace maintenance to keep your furnace healthy and heating your home for years to come.
Photos courtesy of Jasonrdale and K. Härtling.