With snow, blustery winds, and cold temps already in the books this fall, we may be in for a wicked New England winter. Consider these tips to prepare your home for winter weather and help increase its energy efficiency.
Check with your utility company. Many companies offer home energy audits, as well as discounts on products to conserve energy and mitigate the effects of severe weather. On our own, there’s plenty we homeowners can do…
Check for drafts under doors and around windows. You may be surprised how much energy is lost from even the smallest of openings. Using draft snakes and replacing or adding weather stripping and caulking may significantly reduce the heating bill.
Consider adding insulation. Many older New England homes have little or no insulation. Adding it to the attic, walls, or floors will help conserve heat during winter (and keep the cool air in during summer).
Clean the gutters. Clearing gutters and downspouts, and installing heating strips, will reduce the risk of damage from ice build-up and water overflow.
Have your heating system serviced. Regularly cleaning and servicing your furnace, as well as upgrading older appliances, will help keep your home’s systems running safely and efficiently.
Manage the temperature in your home. Install programmable thermostats to keep temps lower at night or while away from your home. But remember, while it’s nice to reduce the energy bill, be sure to keep temps no lower than 65 degrees to protect against freezing pipes.
Frozen and burst pipes can cause significant water damage. Insulate pipes, especially those running along exterior walls. Consider installing smart technology, such as low temp sensors and a water leak detection system with automatic shut-off valve. To further protect against freezing pipes during extreme cold:
- Open inside doors and kitchen and bath cabinets to allow warm air to circulate and reach plumbing.
- Let cold water trickle from faucets.
- Drain and shut off any water supply to the outside.
- Know where your home’s main water valve is located.
- If a pipe bursts – immediately shut off the water at the main valve and call a licensed plumber.
In addition to saving on energy costs, installing certain devices may allow for credits on your homeowner’s insurance, reducing the policy premium. For more information, or if you have questions, please contact us. The team at Daly Insurance is here to help. Happy winter!