The long, warm, and easy summer is behind us and colder weather is setting in. Soon, shorter days and long nights will bring everyone indoors. The snow will be falling and the winds will be whipping. Yes, winter is coming…are you prepared?
Check these 6 items to make sure your home is safe, efficient, and ready for the long winter ahead.
1. Clean the Gutters. All of those leaves and other debris have started making a soup inside those gutters. Don’t just brush the dry leaves off the top, use a scraper to really get the sludge out of there before giving the gutters a good rinse with the hose. That way, rain and melting snow can be whisked away instead of freezing and causing damage or seeping into the house.
2. Stop Air Leaks. Cold air sneaking in or expensive warm air escaping are the leading causes of energy inefficiency in the home. Leaks are common in areas such as recessed lighting, windows and doors, electrical outlets, or anywhere that utilities enter the home. A free home energy assessment from a qualified Energy Monster Adviser will cover all of these areas of your home using sophisticated tools and expert knowledge to find and stop leaks.
3. Insulate. Adding extra insulation is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to cut down on energy expenses this winter. Attics, basements, crawl spaces, and exterior walls can almost always benefit from additional insulation. Adding insulation to walls that the garage shares with the home will also significantly reduce energy usage. Plus, you may qualify for an instant Mass Saves Rebate of up to 75%. Adding insulation will pay you back twice.
4. Check Ducts. Central heating can mean that up to 60% of the heat generated by your furnace is lost in the ductwork before it reaches the vents. Proper connections between pieces and sufficient insulation can reduce this loss significantly so your furnace can run less often.
5. Windows and Doors. If your windows and doors have weather-stripping and caulk properly applied and the cold is still getting through, it may be time for an upgrade. Single pane windows are not efficient enough, especially if there are no storm windows, and exterior doors that are not up to efficiency standards will let heat walk right out. Mass Save also offers incentives for energy-efficient window installations to help offset the cost of replacement.
6. Service the Furnace. Have your furnace professionally cleaned and inspected. A professional servicing will increase the overall lifespan of the furnace by making sure all moving parts are adjusted properly. It will also ensure that your furnace is working as efficiently as possible. Lastly, a professional tuneup will check for any safety risks, including carbon monoxide, to make sure the unit will operate safely for the duration of the season.
Don’t let long summers and breezy autumns get your guard down. Set some time aside to prepare for winter. Not only will you be reassured that your home is safe, you can save on energy costs by reducing heat loss and increasing the efficiency of your appliances. The Mass Save program offers several cash incentives for increasing your home’s efficiency, and Energy Monster has free energy audits so cost won’t be in the way.