Thursday, January 29, 2009

WINTERIZING YOUR HOME

It's not too late to take steps now to help you and your home better deal with the unseasonably cold weather we are having. Remember that February is one of our coldest months and it is not unusual to have a big snow here in March.

The most important thing you can do is change or clean your furnace air filters. A dirty filter can interfere with the free flow of air, leading to higher fuel costs, overheating and eventual shutdown.

Other key winterizing tips include:
- Make sure registers for central heating are open in all appropriate rooms, making sure that registers are not blocked by drapes, curtains or furniture to ensure proper heat and air flow to the entire room.
-Set thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting. For each degree the thermostat is lowered and depending on the climate, a homeowner can save up to 5% on heating bills.
- Install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature at night and when you are away from home.
- Insulate water pipes to prevent potential freezing that could result in cutting off the water supply to the home. You can purchase pipe insulation made for this purpose, or even wrap pipes with an ordinary cloth. An additional advantage is that hot water will flow to the faucet faster, so there also is some savings on water.
- Replace deteriorating weather stripping. Over the years weather stripping loses its capacity to block air, and can be deceptive because it’s still in place. New energy conservation technologies have improved options for weather stripping. Check your local home improvement store for the latest products.
- Water Heater Settings. Set your water heater at low to medium. 120 degrees is recommended for most common uses. Many unsuspecting homeowners never check the setting, which may result in higher energy costs with little resulting benefit.

Winterizing your home can provide substantial cost and energy saving benefits, particularly during a challenging economy. With energy costs continuing to increase, it makes sense to take a few moments to evaluate the simple measures that can make a big difference in both the comfort of your home and your pocketbook.

Have a safe and blessed day--stay as warm as possible--tomorrow promises to be a better weather day. Remember, you can always get the current weather and forecast by visiting my website at www.annpickering.com

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