Fall is upon us! The trees are changing color and the hot summer air is turning cold. It seems like only yesterday that we were knee-deep in snow. Now it’s upon us again. To prepare you and your home for winter, we’ve prepared these 10 helpful tips.
- Adjust your thermostat—Warning…for those of you who are easily cold, this may sound unreasonabe. For your pocket book, it equates to lots of savings. Following summer, you’ll want to reset your thermostat so that it’s set between 68 degrees and 70 degrees F consistently. When you are at work, or even at night time, try not to lower the temperature below 65 degrees for any length of time. Doing so will make your heating system work much harder to get back up to a comfortable temperature.
- Wear warmer clothing—I know, this seems obvious, but you can keep costs down by consciously wearing warmer clothing while you’re home, and keeping the temperature consistently between 68 and 70 degrees F.
- Protect your pipes—Now is a good time to prepare your pipes for the winter. Make sure to properly insulate your pipes, especially those that are exposed to the elements and are more vulnerable to freezing temperatures. And, be sure not to turn off your water if you go away for any length of time. Read more on how to protect your pipes from freezing.
- Change your furnace filter—Now is the time to stock up on furnace filters. Have a short supply on hand to change out every month. It is especially important to start the heating season with a clean filter.
- Clean your gutters—As soon as those beautiful Fall leaves start dropping, they quickly find their way into your gutters and downspouts. Now that they are no longer attached to your tree branches you’ll want to remove them from your home. Doing so now will make your life a whole lot easier in the Spring and it will keep water draining away from your home during our Michigan winter thaws.
- Check windows—Be sure to check all of your windows, paying close attention to the weather stripping. Replace any that are damaged or missing. Then, keep all windows closed and locked. This will minimize the amount of warm air exiting your home.
- Take advantage of solar heat—Do you have a side of your home that gets direct sunlight? To let the solar heat warm your home naturally, be sure to open the shades on windows that face the sun. This will also take a load off your heating and ventilation system.
- Maximize air flow—Check to make sure furniture and other obstructions are removed from wall and floor registers. Also clean your registers. This will improve air flow and keep your system running as efficiently as possible. It will also add to the comfort level in your home.
- Test your fireplace flue(s)—Make sure the flues on your fireplace(s) are sealing tightly and not letting in air.
- Prepare an emergency kit—We certainly hope that we won’t be hit with a winter like we had last year, but in the event we do, be prepared. Prepare an emergency kit that includes at minimum bottled water, canned food, flashlights/candles, blankets and batteries. If you have storage space under your stairs or extra room in your pantry, these items could be conveniently stored there.
If you have other winterizing tips you’d like to contribute to our Michigan neighbors, please share them in our comments section.