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Winterization Tips for a Warmer, More Comfortable Home

Whether it’s summer or winter, most of us like to maintain indoor temperatures around 72 degrees, give or take a couple degrees. This can only be accomplished if we have working heating and air conditioning systems.

In order to properly heat and cool our homes without breaking the bank, three things are necessary:
  • a well-insulated structure
  • a properly-sized and well-maintained HVAC system
  • smart homeowner habits

One of the best things you can do to winterize your home for maximum savings is to schedule a professional home energy audit from your local HVAC or utility company.

Home Energy Audit

This infographic from energy.gov shows you the steps involved in a comprehensive home energy audit:

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Winterization Tips to Save Energy and Money

  1. Open up all vents and registers. Make sure they aren’t being blocked by rugs, drapes, furniture, or anything else.
  2. Check your furnace filter every 30 days and replace it if clogged or dirty. Write the date of replacement on the air filter itself so you know exactly how long it’s been since your last filter change.
  3. Open your drapes and blinds when the sun is shining and close them when the sun goes down.
  4. Clean your vents and registers and vacuum as far as you can reach. Consider investing in professional duct sealing and cleaning.
  5. Make sure your thermostat is away from any heat sources, such as lamps, appliances, direct heat, air registers, and candles. Either remove the heat source or move your thermostat.
  6. Consider upgrading your electromechanical thermostat to a programmable one.
  7. Schedule professional maintenance for your heating system, chimney/fireplace, and water heater.
  8. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows.
  9. Walk around the perimeter of your home and seal and cracks or gaps in the foundation, around doors and windows, and around where utility pipes and wires enter the home.
  10. Consider adding backup heat sources, such as electric heaters, gas fireplaces, and electric baseboards.
  11. Increase the insulation levels in your attic, walls, and crawlspaces.
  12. Insulate rim joists and basement.
  13. Seal air leaks in your ductwork with mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape.
  14. Inspect your attic for holes and leaks and get them fixed as soon as you can to avoid critter infestations, water damage, roof damage, compromised indoor air quality, and energy losses.
  15. Improve airflow and ventilation by using your bathroom and kitchen fans and reversing the direction of your ceiling fans.

Quick Tip: Use bubble wrap for added window insulation:

For more winter energy-saving tips, visit energy.gov.