In this final edition of our series on getting your home ready for the winter, we will take a look at 5 inside “to dos”. Maximizing the energy efficiency of our home not only makes our homes more comfortable, but saves money on energy bills. At the end of this article, there is a complete printable checklist of all 20 recommended inspections/tasks for your convienence.
Furnace Cleaned & Filter Changed
It is important to have your furnace inspected and cleaned by a professional as recommended by the manufacturer of your heating unit. This step will not only maintain the energy efficiency of your unit but could save you the cost of an emergency visit on the coldest day of the year. As well, it can increase the life span of one of the most expensive units in your home. Make sure to also changed or clean your filter every 30 days. Changing the filter not only helps the unit but helps improve the air quality in your home.
Put a Blanket on Your Hot Water Tank
Typically your hot water tank has 20 or more gallons of hot water ready to go. Keeping that water ready to go takes energy to do so and if it is heating cold water to replace what is being used it takes even more energy. Placing a fiberglass insulated blanket around your hot water heater could save you up to 10% of the energy used to heat your water. You must check with your manufacturer’s manual as to their recommendations. Some of the newer more energy efficient models do not recommend utilizing an insulation blanket.
Check Attic Insulation
In Northern Ohio, it is recommended by Energy Star that our attics have an insulation level between R49 to R60. The R value is a measurement of thermal resistance, which means how resistant it is to heat flow. The higher the R value the more thermal efficient the insulation is. Click here for a guide to understanding insulation and figuring out the best type of insulation for your home.
If you have a fireplace, make sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned. This process will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from finding its way back into your home. It is also a great safety measure to have carbon monoxide detectors and a few fire extinguishers around your home for the safety and welfare of your family.
Put on a Sweater
Simply putting on a sweater will make you warmer. Wearing a sweater holds in 2 to 4 degrees of body heat, allowing you to lower your thermostat thus saving money on your energy bill. There are also many different blankets and thermal clothing on the market today that will keep you warm and cozy throughout the cold Northern Ohio winters.
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