Winterizing Your Home

Some areas around Augusta recently experienced a dip into freezing temperatures last week – a sure sign that autumn is on its way out and it’s time to winterize your home for the coming months. While it rarely snows here, we still frequently experience below freezing temperatures that can cause damage to your home over time and can cost you money in utilities. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your home for winter to save money in the long run.

1. Reverse Ceiling Fans – This simple trick can help you save money on heating costs. Reversing the fan’s direction will sweep cool air up to the ceiling and keep the warm air closer to the floor to keep you comfortable. (The blades should be rotating clockwise when you look up at the fan.)

2. Check Smoke Alarms – With heaters and fireplaces starting to blaze, now is a great time to check to make sure your smoke alarms are operational. Check for dead batteries and replace your alarms after 10 years.

3. Patch Up Leaks – This is a cheap and easy thing to do that will save lots of money on your energy costs. Walk around your house and feel for drafts. If your doors are letting in light or a breeze, tighten the fit with rope caulk or other weatherizing strips. Do the same with windows, electrical outlets, recessed lighting or any other openings in your home. As less air escapes from leaks in your home, the less your heater has to work to keep your home comfortable.

4. Clean Your Gutters – It won’t cost you any money, and it could save you a lot of heartache. If leaves get trapped in your gutters, they can create a backup that sends water into your home instead of sweeping it away. If water gets trapped in your gutters, it can freeze and cause damage to the gutters and your home.

5. Check the Chimney – Before using your fireplace, be sure to check your chimney each year for any blockage. You might want to invest in a chimney cap to prevent foreign objects, rain and other things from falling down your chimney and causing blockages.  Make sure to keep the damper closed when your fireplace is not in use to prevent cold air from seeping into your home.

– Kelly Ann Blanchard

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