It is that lovely time of year when Fall brings in the cooler temperatures and you need to stop and think if you and your home are prepared for winter cold snaps!  Here are 5 ways to prepare for staying warm and cozy, while saving energy and money:

1.       Clean out those gutters!

So many leaves and grime that have been neglected for months on end can get built up in your gutters.  If left there, the debris can clog the gutters and drains can form ice that prevent the proper drainage system from working and that could cause water to seep into your home.  Save the hassle and clean the gutters and drains now.  Make sure to run water through to check for trouble spots that could cause water damage.

2.      Duct work!

Out of sight and out of mind are those ducts that are working behind the scenes in your attic or basement.  But a home with central heating can lose up to 20% of the air that moves through the duct system without proper maintenance.  So make sure your ducts are in order by getting them tightly sealed and insulated; this can reduce your energy bills!

3.      LIGHTS!

Fall and winter time means less daylight.  So be careful not to trip over the dog when carrying in those groceries after work!  Outdoor lights should be in good working order, and consider using ENERGY SAVER products to light pathways and porches.  Furthermore, you should consider automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensor lights.  Another way to save energy and money is to use LED lights for holiday decorating!

4.      Outside air needs to stay out!

A very important energy saving tip is to ensure there are no air leaks in your home.  Warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make the heating system work very hard, ending up costing you more to heat your home.  Use caulk to seal those cracks and openings between door frames;  consider checking the weatherstripping to make sure seals are tight, like window areas where the cold air can sneak in.

5.      Care for your furnace!

You should consider cleaning your furnace every year in the fall.  Build-up can occur that can cause your system to work less efficiently and potentially be a fire hazard.  Cleaning and having your furnace inspected will reduce the risk – so before you fire it up for the winter, give it some TLC!

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