Inside Your Home

  • Reverse your fan: Hot air rises, and this recirculates that air back down to the bottom of the room.

  • Keep the thermostat above 65 degrees. The pipes in the walls will be much colder than this, and this will prevent them from freezing.

  • Add extra insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces.

  • If you plan on using your fireplace, have your chimney inspected to make sure there are no fire hazards.

  • If you don’t plan on using your fire place, use a cover or foam board to avoid losing heat. Try a 2-inch-thick board and use tape to secure it down. Place some art or plants in front of it to keep it looking nice!

  • Check your smoke detectors. Make sure they are functioning properly, and consider installing a carbon monoxide detector as well. Sealing up your home can cause excessive buildup of gas in the winter. CO can be emitted from poorly functioning or unvented furnaces or other gas powered appliances. Symptoms are flu-like including headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and mental confusion. High level symptoms include serious health problems, loss of consciousness, and death.

  • Learn how to shut the water off, and know where your pipes are located. In the case of emergency, you will want to have access / be able to direct the plumber to the problem.

  • Prepare for excessive snow melting/flooding. A sump pump or plastic coatings for basement walls can help prevent damage to your home and belongings. Avoid leaving items on the floor in the basement, just in case. Use shelving units or plastic bins to store items.

  • Check your ducts: Ducts should be vacuumed once every few years to clean out the dust, animal hair, and other gunk that accumulates. Not only can this prevent respiratory problems, but checking ducts for any leaks can ensure that heat is traveling through efficiently to its intended destination.

  • Storm windows – These can be pricey, but if you budget them in a few at a time, they can be made affordable and are very well-worth it. You can also buy a window insulator kit in the meantime. This is only about $4 a window and is also highly effective.