Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist to Save Energy
There are 6 easy things you can do now to stay comfortable this winter:
Make exterior repairs. Check for signs of damage to your roof, siding, and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before the harsh winter weather hits.
Mind the gaps. Colder weather can bring little critters looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps. Use heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife (and cold air) outdoors.
Weatherize windows and doors. Apply it around the frames of windows and doors to help boost winter warmth and cut energy costs. Using plastic film to seal your windows is also an effective way to combat drafts and unnecessary energy waste. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out.
Remove window A/C units. If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you leave window A/C units in, cover the entire exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.
Set it right. The ideal efficient temperature for winter heating is 68 degrees when you're at home, and even lower when you are sleeping or away. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Invest in a smart thermostat to make keeping your home at an efficient temperature easier than ever - and you could even be eligible for a $50 DCSEU rebate.
Heat things up. Before you turn the heat on, your chimney and furnace or boiler should be clean and in working order. Never wait to replace an old or failing system - doing so promptly, and with an efficient replacement, will help to save you money in the longterm. Fall is also the perfect time to change your HVAC filter, which should be done at least once every three months during periods of heavy use. Add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one, and make sure to keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.