Seal drafts and insulate your home. One of the biggest sources of heat loss in a home is through drafts and gaps in the walls, windows, and doors. To seal these drafts, you can use weatherstripping, draft stoppers, or caulk to fill in gaps and create a tighter seal. Additionally, adding insulation to your walls, attic, and crawl space can help keep heat in and reduce your energy bills.
Service your heating system. Before the winter season begins, it's a good idea to have your heating system inspected and serviced by a professional. This will ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently, and can help prevent costly breakdowns during the winter.
Clean and maintain your fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it's important to clean it regularly to remove soot and creosote, which can build up and create a fire hazard. You should also have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. If you have a gas fireplace, be sure to have it inspected annually as well, and replace the batteries in the thermostat and remote control.
Protect your pipes. Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leading to costly repairs. To prevent this, you can insulate your pipes with foam pipe insulation or heat tape. You should also let your faucets drip a little during very cold weather to prevent freezing.
Check your roof and gutters. Snow and ice can accumulate on your roof and in your gutters, which can cause damage if not removed. Before the winter season begins, inspect your roof for any missing or damaged shingles, and repair or replace them as needed. You should also clean out your gutters to ensure that they are clear of debris and can effectively drain melting snow and ice.
Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to set a schedule for your heating and cooling system, so you can save energy when you're not home or asleep. You can program the thermostat to turn down the heat when you're not home, and turn it back up an hour or so before you wake up or return home.
Change your air filters. It's important to change your air filters regularly to ensure that your heating and cooling system is operating efficiently. During the winter, you may want to use a higher-efficiency filter to help improve indoor air quality and reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home.
Check your emergency supplies. In the event of a winter storm or power outage, it's important to have emergency supplies on hand, such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. You should also have a backup plan in case you lose power, such as a generator or a propane heater.