We never can predict what kind of winter Richmond is going to have, but it does seem like freezing temperatures and snow have been in the forecast a lot these recent years. While you might choose to bundle up and brave through these frigid months, taking the time to winterize your home can make a huge difference.
If you’ve never done it before, you might not fully appreciate the benefits of being prepared for this time of year. In fact, you may not really know where to begin. Don’t worry — we’ve got your back! There are many ways you can get your home prepared for the cold weather. Here are 10 ways to winterize your home to save energy and money — and stay warm!
- Change Your Furnace Filter
A nice, clean filter will help your furnace work more efficiently. In fact, if it ever seems like you’re struggling to keep your house warm, it could be that dirt, dust, and other particles have accumulated on the furnace filter! Plus, when you change your filter frequently, it can help improve air quality. All around, this is a great place to start!
- Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat might seem like a fancy, unnecessary addition to your HVAC system, but they really are useful. Create a schedule based on when you’ll be home, the rooms that are used most, and what time you go to bed. The thermostat will automatically adjust your furnace’s output based on your preferences, conserving energy and saving you money!
- Give Your Water Heater a Blanket
Much like wearing a sweater can keep you feeling warm, wrapping a blanket around your water heater can help prevent the tank from losing heat as quickly. Typically these blankets can be found at most hardware stores and are very affordable and easy to install. This is one of the simplest, quickest ways to winterize your home!
- Try a Chimney Balloon
If you have a fireplace, you could be losing a lot of heat through the chimney. When not in active use, consider using an inflatable chimney balloon to keep the warm air inside your home from escaping. The great thing about these devices is that they come in a wide variety of sizes and are easy to install.
- Guard Against Drafts
When you look around your home, you can probably identify many places where heat loss is occurring — under doors, around framing, and more. There are a variety of products including draft guards, weatherstripping, and caulking that can be used to put any leaks on lockdown!
- Grab Window Insulation Film
One of the cheapest, easiest ways to winterize your home is to grab a window insulation kit and cover up your windows. It takes literally minutes to set up the plastic sheets and, while they aren’t the most fashionable, once they are in place, you will barely notice them. Best of all, with very little investment of time or money, you’ll keep a lot of heat from escaping your home.
- Run Fans in Reverse
During the summer months, you’ve probably turned to your ceiling fan to help you keep cool. Did you know that you can use it to stay warm, too? Simply flip the switch on the motor so that the blades run clockwise. This pushes down the warm air that has risen to the ceiling and redistributes it throughout the room.
- Update Your Insulation
Check the insulation in your attic, basement, crawlspaces, and between your walls. Over time, the quality can deteriorate so adding some fresh, high-quality insulation can make a huge difference in the comfort of your home and energy costs. Also, contact your local energy agencies to learn more about government programs that may offer a rebate or tax break!
- Replace Doors and Windows
Installing new doors and windows in your home can be a major investment, but it’s something that can benefit you and your family all year round. By sealing up leaks, you’ll stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which is very important with Richmond’s weather! Again, federal tax credits may be available so be sure to do your research!
- Give Your HVAC System a Tune-Up
Your HVAC system works hard, so show it some love by scheduling regular maintenance appointments, especially as the seasons change. A technician can perform an inspection to identify any potential issues (allowing you to address them before they become big problems!), clean up the various components, and perform repairs.
W.G. Speeks Can Help!
Want expert advice on winterizing your home? W.G Speeks is here to help! Our team of NATE-certified technicians can provide guidance on all of your heating and cooling needs! Call now for a FREE consultation. We’ve been proudly serving homes in the Richmond area for over 75 years!