You’ve got your coat, boots, and gloves to battle the wet, cold winter. But have you adequately prepared your home to do the same? In the Pacific Northwest, moisture, freezing temperatures, and frost can wreak havoc in your home. Luckily, there are a few easy, inexpensive ways to winterize your home and cruise problem-free until spring.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
Tiny leaks can make a big dent in your home’s energy efficiency—as much as 30 percent per year! (U.S. Department of Energy) Some simple and cost-effective caulking of windows and weather stripping on doors can drastically reduce this leakage.
First, find out if you have air leakage. For both doors and windows, place a fan or use a hair dryer on the exterior side. Have someone else hold a match on the inside of the house. Point the air stream around the door or window. If there is a flicker of the match on the inside, you know that you have an air leak. This doesn’t just allow cold air to enter your home—you’re also losing valuable warm air to the exterior.
Air leaks should be repaired immediately by installing well-fitting weather stripping along the door seam and putting caulking around the windows. Don’t forget to remove old or cracked caulking first.
Get Tuned Up
This one is easy because Washington Energy Services provides this weatherization to-do for you. A Precision Furnace Tune-Up is the best step you can take to make your furnace a winter workhorse. The 37-point inspection takes a comprehensive look at your furnace, providing the fixes it needs to stay working all winter long.
If your furnace is past its prime in terms of age, efficiency, or operability, the ultimate weatherization step would be to replace it. Call us for a free in-home estimate, and we’ll send a technician to inspect your current furnace and recommend the best solutions for your home and budget.
Invest In Pipe Insulation
Cold weather means cold pipes, and cold pipes can mean burst pipes. Protect them from freezing temperatures by insulating them in unheated areas. Pipe insulation tubes, which are available at hardware stores, are typically made of polyethylene or fiberglass and come in various measurements. To ensure a good fit, measure your pipes before purchasing insulation.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to use or purchase an exterior faucet cover!
Change Your Furnace Filters
This is perhaps the easiest weatherization tip and one that should occur year-round. Changing your furnace filters once a month during the heating season (when you need your furnace most) is crucial to its function and efficiency. Fresh filters extend the life of your furnace, reduce your heating bills, and improve your home’s air quality.
The easiest way to change your furnace filter is to sign up for our Automatic Filter Replacement Program. We’ll send you a fresh air filter when it’s time to switch it out. All you have to do is insert it!
Get A Programmable Thermostat
With the temperatures dropping, it can be tempting to have the heat constantly running. A better idea? Use a programmable thermostat to heat your home only when you need it. Set it to turn on before you wake up, turn off when you go to work, and rev back to life right before you return.
Have you seen the suite of models from Honeywell? Ranging from utilitarian to sleek, these high-tech solutions save money and look good while doing it. The FocusPro6000 and Prestige IAQ models even offer the capability to use Redlink Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Services, which gives you access to monitor and manage your heating and cooling system from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Weatherizing your home doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Following just a few cold weather preparation tips can save you major headaches—and maybe even a little cash—this winter.