Living in the Bay Area we get pretty lucky in that our winters aren’t as severe as other places across the country. According to The Weather Channel, the coldest winter month in San Francisco is January with an average low of 46°F. In contrast, in Chicago, in January the average low is 18°F.
Although we do not have to worry about snow or below 0 temperatures it is still important that we prepare our homes for the winter we do have. Being prepared and taking several small steps can save you a bundle on your energy bill this season. After reviewing several sources (www.realestate.msn.com, www.artofmanliness.com, www.thedailygreen.com) that list the top tips for winterizing your home, I am going to give you a few of the most important and money saving.
- Have your furnace checked by a professional
- Many of you may have already started using your furnace, as the temperatures here in the Bay have begun to decline, but it is still important that you have it checked out by a professional to make sure it is safe for you and your family. The average inspection will cost roughly $100; however that small cost will save you in the long run. The inspection will consist of the following:
- A safety check for carbon monoxide
- Clean and replace air filters
- Check blower operation
- Clean motor and fan
- Inspect gas piping to furnace
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
- As we all know heat rises, so reversing the direction of your fan will allow that hot air that rises to the ceiling to be pushed back down and spread throughout your home. By simply adjusting the direction of your ceiling fan (counterclockwise to clockwise) you can save on heating costs by up to as much as 10%.
- Block Leaks
- One of the easiest ways to save money and prevent wasted energy is to simply block all obvious leaks throughout your home. One of the most noticeable leaks or drafts throughout your home can be found at your doors. By simply using a draft guard you can trap that 5%-30% wasted energy that leaks cause.
- Don’t Forget about the Thermostat
- One of the easiest ways to lose money over the winter is to leave your thermostat turned up while you are out of the house. One of the best tips for dealing with the thermostat is to have an automatic one that will allow you to set it for when you are home and when you will be away. By simply doing this you can save an average of $180 a year.
Wearing sweaters and keeping blankets around your home will also allow you to stay warm while not having to run your heater as much. A heavy sweater can add an average of 4 degrees of warmth to our body.
Saving money is at the top of everyone’s list, so bundle up and save big this winter with these easy steps.
To check out the complete lists of ways to winterize your homes, please click on the links below.
The Weather Channel, www.weather.com.
The Daily Green, 19 Easy Home Winterization Projects, (http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/winterize-home-tips-energy-461008#slide-1)
MSN, Real Estate, 10 Ways to Winterize Your Home – NOW, Christopher Solomon. (http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899)