Preparing Your Home for Winter in 7 Simple Steps

Winter is here – but there’s no time for hibernation. After all, you need to prepare your home for the cold months ahead. Luckily, we’re making it easy for you (or your honey!) to winterize your home this holiday season. Here’s a list of tips to keep your home safe, warm and, most importantly, energy-efficient all winter:

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Let’s break down those steps:

  • Weather-Strip Your HomeThe U.S. Department of Energy reports that inefficient windows can account for up to 25% of your home’s heating bill. Keep the cold air outside your warm home by sealing all window and door frames. When you’re done, test the weather-stripping with a lighter; if the flame flickers, there’s a draft. A warm house + a lower natural gas bill = win, win! 
  • Check Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide DetectorsWith your fireplace and heater running all winter long, it’s essential to both test and refresh the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. After all, nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Find out which detectors your home may need with our GasWise blog.
  • Insulate Your PipesYou’re not the only one who needs an extra layer during the wintertime. As the weather cools, your pipes become more vulnerable to freezing and bursting. To prevent water damage (and a hefty water bill), wrap your pipes in insulation tubes and your water heater in a jacket, which are available at your local hardware store.
  • Clean Your GuttersSure, this may seem like a Spring “Honey-Do” task – but this simple practice is equally as important during the winter. Clogged gutters from wet leaves and icy debris could result in costly repairs, including damage to the fascia and cracked foundation.
  • Sweep Your ChimneyYou want Santa to have a nice, clean trip down the chimney – and you don’t want toxic gases leaking into your home. From creosote build-ups to flue blockages, chimneys can be extremely unsafe without proper annual cleanings. And we’re not just talking about homes with wood-burning fireplaces; homes with gas-heating appliances also use chimneys for ventilation.
  • Adjust Your Thermostat SettingGone are the days of 78 degree houses. This winter, adjust your thermostat setting to 68 degrees while you’re in the house and 60 degrees while you’re away. You can save up to 1% on your energy bill for each degree you set your thermostat back from your “comfort setting.” We promise: your natural gas bill will thank you.
  • Check Your FurnaceThe most essential step for winter warmth is preventative maintenance to your natural gas furnace. An annual inspection should always be performed by an HVAC professional, but homeowners can take their own precautionary measures, including changing the furnace filter every one to three months, vacuuming areas around the furnace and checking the appearance of the flame for any irregularities.

Once you’ve crossed off each item on your wintertime checklist, grab some hot cocoa, cozy up to your natural gas fireplace and watch the savings roll in. Phew – feeling warm yet?

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