Now that the holidays have passed us by and I am sitting, snug in bundles of fleece and thermals, in front of a large window, watching snow drift down and settle over roughly two feet of snow and musing the long icicles hanging from the gutter out another window, I realized I should have blogged about good winterizing moves that can help you better care for your home and your energy bills.
A few simple moves can protect your home from winter damage and also improve your energy bills that are prone to rocketing into orbit every December, January and February and on occasional winters, for a few more months. Below are some ideas on how to winterize your home, some of which you can still readily do. I will list them in order of what to do ahead of weather for future reference next year come September.
- Clean your gutters to avoid clogged gutters. Those gutters will suffer enough with snow and ice build up so don’t test fate by challenging that snow and ice’s ability to pass through the gutter down to the ground below.)
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off the water to avoid burst pipes come spring. Along a similar note here I was once misinformed that there is a city ordinance that requires Moscowvites to back flush our sprinkler system professionally. This is not true; however, it is also not costly.
- Buy a good snow shovel and meet that chore as another way to get activity during those winter months. Let it slide and either you or family/friends might take a costly spill.
- Close vents to areas of the house not commonly used.
- replace the filter in your furnace.
- This one can qualify more as a safety precaution guarding against fire, but also works for improving energy bills: if moving your dryer does not feel similar to someone suggesting a trip up Mt. Everest, then move it out to vacuum built-up lint.
- Caulk or purchase weather stripping to apply to drafty, problem areas. The one place a home loses the most heat is through windows, and given Moscow’s many historic homes, it is worth noting the difference some fresh caulk can make. Come spring, if you live in one of those older homes, it may be really worth the price tag to replace those windows with double paned, energy efficient windows which leads me to the last suggestion…
- Contact Avista to schedule an energy audit. For free, they will assess your home and offer suggestions to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Some improves, replacing older items with energy efficient ones will fetch you not only a lower heating bill but an energy rebate with Avista. The link provided will also provide more ideas from Avista on ways to improve your energy bill.
Anyhow, hope this helps. I will aim to post a spring checklist in a couple months.