We are in the middle of the worst cold and flu season, but a great deal of these outbreaks can be prevented if you know the best ways to stay warm at home this winter. There are steps you can take to ensure that your home is warm and insulated, without breaking the bank and still being kind to your environment.
Calling On the Right Help
It is best to be prepared before the major cold fronts hit, by having a technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to assure that your system is clean and working properly. An efficient technician will also check for carbon monoxide levels. Select a heating and air-conditioning contractor that is a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America to prevent mishaps and added expenses.
Have your roof inspected for loose shingles. If it is not feasible for a member of your household to get up on the roof, find a handyman from websites like Angie’s List or costhelper.com to check and repair broken shingles and breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys. If you plan to use your fireplace more than your heater, a reputable chimney sweep can prepare yours for the cold days and nights
What You Can Do
In rooms with ceiling fans, especially in higher vaulted areas, press the reverse switch and turn on the fan. This will produce an updraft (heat rises) and flow back downwards, better heating the room. This may allow for lower thermostat degrees, saving on energy and bills.
Weatherproofing your home and fixing air leaks will also keep out the cold and save you money in the long run. Weatherstrip around doors, where needed, and be sure you cannot see any daylight from inside. If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are larger than the width of a nickel, you will need to reapply exterior caulk. Check the joints in window and door frames. Silicone caulk is best for the exterior, because it won’t shrink and is unaffected by the elements.
Cleaning out the gutters around your house from backed up debris will help prevent damage to the roof, leaking and buckling. If this is not something that can be done by someone at home, a local professional that will charge depending on the size of your dwelling.
For those that live in a snowy region prone to heavy storms, stock your home with all the food and water you will need in advance of the season. Have a trusty snow shovel and plenty of salt to keep your driveway and car clear.
Consider Think Heat propane and heating oil delivery when warming your home. Propane heat is a clean energy source, produced from natural gas processing and crude-oil refining, that is nontoxic, colorless and nearly odorless. Heating oil is a refined petroleum product used in furnaces. Oil heat systems allow homeowners to control the temperature by conveniently adjusting their thermostat.
Hopefully these important and useful tips will help you prepare for the coldest season of the year.