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The rules for keeping a home warm in winter are pretty simple: keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
But where to begin?
“Winterizing a home seems like a hassle. Many homeowners take down the window screens, peer up the fireplace and call it a day,” Trent Urban, owner of The WireNut, Colorado Springs, Colorado, says. “But just a few simple tasks can head off danger and make a big difference in keeping your home warm.”
With intense winter storms prompted by strong El Nino conditions expected to bring above-average snowfall to the Front Range this fall, the time to button up your home is right now.
Ready, set, go!
1. Insulate: Take a big bite out of the chill – and cut 15 percent off your heating bill – by properly insulating the attic, floors above an unconditioned basement or crawlspace and the basement walls.
2. Seal leaks: Stop air leaks throughout the house, from attic to basement. Weather-strip and caulk drafty doors and windows. Check electrical outlets; if you can feel cool air, screw on a new insulated faceplate. Install plastic film on a window that needs extra insulation.
3. Curtain calls: Open the curtains on south-facing windows during the day to let sun in. Close them at night to keep in heat.
4. Rug tricks: place area rugs on tile and wood floors to provide insulation and keep bare feet more comfortable. Wait a minute… Bare feet?!
5. Wear warm socks or slippers: Enough said.
6. Shut off unused rooms: Close the door of the guest room or any room you do not use regularly.
7. Make the most of heated air: Move furniture away from radiators or heat vents so warm air circulates. Set ceiling fan blades to turn clockwise, which will help move warmer air down from the ceiling. Flip the switch back to counter-clockwise for summer use.
8. Watch the fireplace: wood burning fires look toasty but fireplaces suck the warm air out of your home and up the chimney. Enclose the firebox with glass doors or consider purchasing a fireplace insert with a glass front. Close the flue when you’re done and the fire is out.
9. Invest in a programmable thermostat: Set the thermostat low when you are away from the house during the day and while you sleep at night. Better yet, install a smart thermostat that will do the job for you and will learn our habits and adjust accordingly.
10. Seal the ducts: The ducts in homes with forced-air heating systems can be big source of heat loss. Sealing and insulating ducts will keep your home warmer in winter.
11. Beware of carbon monoxide: if heat goes out, never use a camp stove, grill, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device in your home. These can produce poisonous carbon monoxide, which is invisible and has no scent. Use a wood-burning stove or fireplace for temporary heat. Keep some wood stored for emergencies.
12. Think preventive maintenance
Why take a chance? Make sure your furnace and water heater are in shape to go the distance this winter. A clean furnace performs better than a dirty one. Neglect or improper cleaning and maintenance of key mechanical systems can cause them to operate inefficiently or even fail. It pays to have a professional inspection to make sure your equipment is in top condition.
Get heating and electrical services done on time and right the first time. Ask The Wirenut about bundling winter maintenance services, including furnace and water heater tune-ups, duct inspection and cleaning and additional home comfort system services.
The WireNut is one of the highest-volume residential service contractors serving the Front Range, where winter storms are strong and unpredictable. Keep The WireNut’s phone number handy; the company is on call 24/7, year-round, to handle your heating, cooling or hot water heater emergency.
To request a quote or a visit, book online at The WireNut website or call (719) 484-0101.
This article was produced for and sponsored by The WireNut, Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA.