Cold is Coming: Preparing Your Home for Winter
With cold weather drawing closer, it’s a great time to think about getting ready for winter. If you haven’t gotten started on cold weather preparations for your home, there’s little time to waste. To help jumpstart your homeowners winter checklist, we’ve compiled this handy to-do list.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Tip #1: Upgrade Your AC/Heating System
Is your AC/heating system showing its age? Is it over 10 years old? Have you been considering a new system anyway? If so, there’s no better time to buy than fall. Why?
- AC/Heating dealers are typically less busy during cooler months, GVEC Home included.
- During new system installation, technicians continually move in and out of your home and attic. This causes masses of air-flow in and out. If it’s hot outside during installation, you’ll be far more uncomfortable than during cooler weather.
- When’s the best time to select a new AC/heating system? Probably not when it’s 102 degrees and your family is melting into stressed-out puddles of Lone Star misery. Why not do it when everyone’s comfortable, clear headed and able to objectively consider the options?
- Many HVAC dealers, including GVEC Home, offer great financing deals and discounts during fall.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Tip #2: Upgrade to a Nest Learning Thermostat
If you’re not ready to commit to a new system or just don’t need one, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat® from GVEC Home. Switching can have an appreciable impact on your heating and cooling bills. The Nest Learning Thermostat can save up to 20 percent on monthly electric bills–20%! What’s more, because your system will run less often, you’ll also cause less wear and tear by using a Nest Learning Thermostat.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Tip #3: Caulk & Seal the Leaks
Homeowners can significantly reduce electricity bills by sealing and plugging all the holes, gaps, crevices and cracks that allow outside air to seep in. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that sealing all the leaks around the typical home can save the owner up to 30 percent in heating and cooling costs. Considering the relatively minor costs of caulk and weatherstripping, and the fact that most homeowners can do the job themselves, the potential savings are well worth the effort.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Tip #4: Reverse Ceiling Fans
Standard ceiling fans come with both forward and reverse settings. Setting the blades to run in reverse causes air to be pulled up toward the ceiling. It’s then flung outward to cascade and bounce along the walls, resulting in greater circulation and distribution of heat in wintertime. The reversal switch is generally located above the blades. You’ll need a step ladder to find and access it, but then it only takes a quick flip.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Tip #5: Rugs & Blackout Drapery
If you’ve ever stepped onto a tile, wood or cement floor in your home during fall or winter and felt your feet go ice cold, this tip is for you. Simply laying a thick area rug can do wonders for helping your feet feel warmer, leading to fewer thermostat hikes.
Add an extra layer of warmth by investing in thick wool socks or well-insulated house shoes before cold weather hits. You can further block the cold by simply closing the drapes or investing in heavy, blackout drapes to trap cool air that might be sneaking in through gaps in the window.
GVEC Home: Helping Prepare Your Home for Winter’s Coming
For more on preparing your home for winter, spend some time here at GVEC.org looking over our blog or call and speak to a member services advisor. We also offer a free home energy audit for GVEC members and a low-cost, routine HVAC maintenance option through our Comfort Check program. To learn more, call 800.223.4832.