1) Put the A/C Unit Away
Chances are you won’t be needing any cooling relief during these bitter cold months and window A/C units are a perfect entry-way for pesky drafts to sneak in. Either remove the unit from your window or buy a tarp to cover it for the season.
2) Drain your A/C Waterlines
Speaking of A/C units, if you have a central air conditioner you’ll want to drain it’s pipes and hoses. Check the pipes for any excess water and be sure to turn off the water shutoff valve.
3) Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan
Believe it or not, fans can be used to circulate warm air too. While counter-clockwise rotations create a cooling breeze, clockwise rotations pull warm air near the ceiling back down bringing instant warmth back into the room!
4) Stop Drafts in Their Tracks
One of the most frustrating things to contend with during long winter months are the nasty drafts of cold air radiating from doorways. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts are one of the largest energy wasters, totaling around 5 to 30 percent of warm air out the window. Luckily, drafts can be easily fixed by rolling a bath towel and placing it beneath the door. If you’re the crafty type, there are plenty of DIY “draft snake” ideas floating around on Pinterest.
5) Change Your Filter
Add a monthly reminder on your calendar to change your furnace filter. Dirty filters curb airflow and hike-up energy demands. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of replacing your filter each month, look into purchasing a permanent filter instead.
6) Pull Out the Storm Windows
It’s amazing how much warmer a room can feel with storm windows. Sure, it might be a pain in the butt hauling them out at the beginning of the season, but you’ll be happy you did once those brisk winds start howling!
7) Keep an Eye on the Thermostat
Do your wallet a favor and turn the heat down when you leave the house. According to the popular online publication, Popular Mechanics, for each degree you lower the thermostat you save between one to three percent of your heating bill. If you’re forgetful, fear not! Opt for a programmable thermostat instead so you can turn down the heat at the touch of a button.
8) Caulk it Up
Small cracks in doors, windows and even walls allow cold air to creep into your home. Combat leaks by caulking these areas of your home. Carefully inspect corners, chimneys and the foundation, as these are the most common places this issue occurs.
9) Insulate Your Pipes
Minimize the chances of your pipes freezing and wreaking havoc on your home by insulating them. An easy weekend project, you can purchase all of the necessary pipe insulation products at your local hardware store. Cut some pre-slit pipe-foam to fit your pipes and attach it with duct tape. You will want to choose insulation with a high R-value practical. This represents the insulation’s ability to block heat.
10) If All Else Fails, Put Up the Plastic
It’s not the most attractive option, but plastic is an affordable, temporary way to insulate your windows and keep heat indoors. Window insulation kits can be purchased at your local hardware store. Grab your hairdryer, prepare the plastic and bask in the extra warmth.
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