Whether you rent or own, now that we are entering cold winter months, there are a few things that might be helpful to keep in mind. Most people know to weatherproof and seal any drafty doors or windows, but there are a few other things that can help make winter months more comfortable and enjoyable:
Utilize Ceiling Fan. Did you know that your ceiling fan is useful during the winter months? In the Summer, it should spin counterclockwise on a higher speed to create a cooling breeze. In the Winter, it should be reversed to spin clockwise on the lowest setting, pulling cold air up and pushing the warm air back down.
Lighting the Fireplace. If you have a fireplace that you plan on using in the Winter, make sure to get a chimney sweep and inspection done by professionals. If you rent, check with your landlord whether use of the fireplace is allowed.
Prevent Frozen Pipes. When water freezes in pipes, it expands and can cause the pipes to burst. Pipes in unheated parts of your home may need to be insulated (garage, basement). It may also be tempting to turn the thermostat down to save on heating bills when traveling; but don't turn it all the way off! When traveling, be sure to leave the thermostat on low (50-55F) to keep the pipes from freezing. Depending on how long you are away, it can also be more efficient to have the heat always on maintaining a temperature, rather than turning it off and letting it drop, then having the heat run to get the temperature all the way back up.
Save on heating bills. Make sure your heating system is running smoothly and efficiently. Furnace filters should be changed regularly. Ensure heating vents and radiators are not blocked by furniture or personal belongings, vents are clean and that nothing touches electrical base boards. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be in place and in working order.
Decorate for Winter! Get cozy flannel sheets, use fluffy blankets on your couch and rugs on floors. Don't forget the curtains - not only can they be a stylish decorative element, but closed curtains at night can reduce cold drafts from windows! Keep curtains open during the day to let the sun warm up the room.
What are some of the things you do to get your home ready for Winter?