When it comes to preparing your home for winter, there are few things more inspiring than lowering your monthly bill. Did you know that as much as 50% of the energy used in your average building is consumed by the HVAC system? If you’re not preparing your home for the cold winter months to come, you better start now.
After all, getting your home prepped before the cold sets in will be key to your success. Here are some of the top items to cross off of your winter home maintenance checklist this fall.
Inspect or update your HVAC unit
No home in Upstate New York can hope to survive the winter without a proper HVAC system. After all, Rochester temperatures will rarely see a day that’s above 40 degrees Fahrenheit once December arrives. If your home doesn’t have a properly working furnace, you’ll be in for some cold nights ahead.
It’s important to inspect your HVAC system twice per year, usually in the spring and fall before the searing summer months and cold winter months kick in. This allows you to monitor the electrical work, clean out your ducts, and identify any issues with your system. The average furnace only lasts about 15 years so if you haven’t repaired or replaced it in a while, you might want to before November comes. Take a cursory glance yourself, but be sure to call a professional if any issues arise.
Seal those leaks
Along with faulty HVAC systems, a major cause of rising winter bills is because of air leaks. The space under your door, the cracks in your window, and the poor insulation in your attic all let out that beautiful heat. As such, it causes your heating bill to rise, especially as the months get colder.
In New York, it’s recommended that nearly every home and apartment invest in ways to seal these leaks. For some, it might mean investing in a door sweep to keep the cold out. Others might want to reinsulate their entire attic if it hasn’t been updated for many years. Repairing those window cracks and investing in thicker window covers can also help deter your warm air from escaping. Just be sure to talk about the best options with your partner. Did you know that more than 5 million couples living together are unmarried? Agree on your home’s design to make it a place you both love. Your home will feel better and your bills will go down since your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard.
Reseal your driveway
Speaking of sealing cracks in your home, your driveway could use some loving care, as well.
Your driveway grows cracks and potholes for a number of reasons: growing tree roots underneath your asphalt or cement can crack the surface while melting snow and ice can expand gaps considerably. By the time spring comes, it’s not uncommon for driveways to have more fractures than you remember. Even though the U.S. goes through 88 million tons of concrete in a year, it’s rarely enough to keep up with the cracks that develop in sidewalks and driveways.
As such, you should consider sealing the cracks in your driveway to prevent them from getting worse. If you can, you might want to repave the whole thing, or just wait until spring. Cracks in your driveway can put unnecessary strain on your car’s springs and lead to trip and fall accidents if you aren’t careful. When winter comes, this should be one of the top projects on your winter to-do list.
Preparing for winter is something no one wants to think about when school and Halloween are on their way. Regardless, it’s an important part of homeownership that cannot be ignored, just like getting old home insurance for older properties. Rely on these tips when you want to save money and stay comfortable this winter.