Small Changes to Save Big This Winter
As the weather turns colder, it is time to look around the house for ways to prepare for the upcoming frigid temps. Small adjustments in your home now can save you big money in the long run. Read on for tips to save money while remaining cozy in your home this winter:
- Change the furnace filter. Remembering to swap out your furnace filter with a clean one every month is a quick task, but can really make a difference in the efficiency of your furnace. You can also consider switching to a permanent filter that would help control more bacteria, mold and debris, however, they can cost a bit more than the traditional disposable filters. Check your manual for specifics on what filters are recommended for your home.
- Reverse your fans. If you have ceiling fans in your home, check for a switch on the housing that changes the direction of the blades. Since heat rises switching the direction of the blades can bring more heat down to you and your family. This small change can save you up to 10% on your heating costs!
- Winterize your A/C. If you have window units, now is a good time to remove them and get them stored for winter. For central A/C, check the pipes and look for a good cover that will keep debris and snow out of the unit.
- Shut off the water. Disconnect the garden hoses from the outside faucets and shut off the water to the outside. Make sure you then run the outside faucet to get any water left in the pipes out.
- Insulate your windows. If you have older windows it might be a good idea to look at installing window insulation kits to cut down on drafts. These kits contain plastic that is easy to fit and install, and done correctly, will be nearly invisible.
- Check the fireplace. Cozying up to the fire on a chilly day is a beautiful thing. Make sure your chimney is free of animal nests or creosote buildup by having an annual inspection before the first use.
- Program your thermostat. An easy way to watch energy expenditure is to install a programmable thermostat. You can customize your heating patterns and ensure you are not wasting energy when you are not home. Many thermostats are now considered “smart” and you can adjust the settings from your smartphone even when you are away.
- Protect your plants. Keep an eye on the weather and make sure you cover or bring in your plants before the first frost of the season. Typically, you should bring in any plants before temperatures head under 45 degrees.
- Clean your gutters. Spending a few minutes cleaning the gutters now can save you from large icicles and ice dams later. You can also pick up some covers for your gutters that will cut down or eliminate the need to manually clean them out each year.
The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ are always available to provide guidance and answer questions about home ownership. For more information, visit CambriaMortgage.com or call 952-942-0110.