Winter may have begun in December, but for those of us living in the southernmost tip of Texas, winter takes its time. If you haven’t prepared your home for the cold days ahead, now is a great time!
Tip 1 – Tune up your heating system
Consult a professional technician to inspect your heat pump or furnace to make sure your system is clean and in good condition. This type of inspection also measures for carbon monoxide and leakage. If your air conditioner is not running properly, it could cost you a lot more money in electricity. If you need a new air conditioner, BPUB provides rebates for qualifying new HVAC installations.
Tip 2 – Reverse your ceiling fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. In this reverse motion, the fan will produce an updraft and push down heated air from the ceiling. This change might also allow you to turn down your thermostat.
Tip 3 – Caulk around windows and doors
They say if the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Check the joints in window and door frames, too. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Proper caulking will ensure that the cold air stays out and the warm air stays in.
Tip 4 — Clean the gutters
If your gutters are full of detritus, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim – plus, it can cause leaks or ice dams. While South Texas is lucky enough to usually avoid ice dams, wet winters are common. Cleaning the gutters will ensure that the water has somewhere to go that isn’t your house.
Tip 5 – Insulate walls and attics
Added insulation to your attic and walls is something that can yield results when it’s hot or cold. In fact, many South Texas homeowners might see even more benefit in the summer, but the winter is a good time to get this done. That insulation will help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in the summer by preventing air from your home from escaping by adding a barrier from the cold (or hot) outside temperatures. This reduces the number of electricity customers must use for heating and cooling. And did you know that installing additional attic insulation could qualify you for a GreenLiving rebate from BPUB?
Preparing your home for the different seasons can always be a fun family project over the weekend. Enjoy and stay safe!