What You Need to Know to be Prepared for Winter
As temperatures begin to drop, here are a few tips to help ensure your home stays warm throughout the winter. Two smart places to start are with sealing air leaks and improving the efficiency of your home’s heating system. With some DIY knowledge and a little elbow grease, you can keep your home comfortable all season long. Use these tips to help with your winter weather prep.
Air Sealing Tips
Not only can air sealing help prevent your home from being drafty in the winter, but it can also help save on your energy bill. According to the Department of Energy, sealing air leaks can save more than 20% on your energy bill.
One way to measure the need for air sealing and air leakage is to have an energy audit performed on your home. As part of the energy audit, the auditor will perform a blower door test that can help detect air leaks in your home. Learn more about the benefits of a home energy audit from BGE HOME.
If you’re looking for a DIY way to detect air leaks, simply shut your door on a dollar bill. If you can easily pull the dollar bill out when the door is shut, it could be a sign that additional air sealing would help your home.
You can also detect air leaks using a flashlight. After dusk, have a friend or family member shine a light where you think there may be an air leak. Stand outside of your home and see if you can see the light from the outside of your home. If you see the light, this can be a sign that air is leaking from that location.
Types of Air Sealing
- Caulking is one type of air sealing technique. Caulking gaps in your doors and windows can prevent air coming in. Caulking Tip: Only caulk your home when temperatures are 45 degrees or above to ensure that the caulk sets. Colder temperatures can prevent the caulk from fully setting and minimize the effectiveness.
- Weather stripping is another type of air sealing that can help seal your doors and windows. Adding or replacing worn weather stripping around doors and windows can help seal your home.
Heating System Tips
An important part of staying warm during the winter is ensuring your heating system is ready to keep you and your home warm. Here are some tips to keep your heating system operating at peak efficiency.
Heating System Inspection
Before the winter comes full force, ensure that your heating system has been inspected and tuned-up. To learn more about the benefits of a heating system efficiency tune-up, read this blog post.
Heating System Filters
If you have a heating system with a replaceable air filter, make sure to check your filter once a month, especially during periods of heavy use, like winter. A dirty filter can decrease the energy efficiency of your unit. If you need to order a new filter to replace your old filter, make sure to check out our partnership with Filter Easy. You can get your first filter replacement free!
Another tip for your heating system is to clean your air ducts. To do this yourself, first, turn off the power to your system. Then, unscrew the grilles and duct covers from your duct system. Use a cleaning brush and a vacuum to clean the ducts as much as possible.
If you feel that your ducts could use more of a heavy-duty cleaning, consider hiring a professional to have your ducts cleaned as well. BGE HOME recommends hiring a professional around every five years. Learn more about the benefits of professional duct cleaning.
Be Prepared for Winter
We hope these tips help keep you and your family comfortable in your home no matter the weather outside. It’s not too late to schedule a tune-up or a repair for your home’s heating system. Schedule service online, and we’ll make sure your family weathers the winter in comfort.