In Oklahoma it’s still pretty warm during early fall, but we all know that winter is coming. Great Plains winters can be extremely mild or extremely brutal. Not knowing how this particular winter will go, we should all take steps to get our homes ready for the brutal. In order to keep your home comfortable in the winter without spending a fortune on heating costs, now is the time to get your home ready for the winter season.
I’m going to give you some ideas for how to save money this winter and save your fingers from bitter cold! You sure don’t want to be outside fixing gaps in the chimney or caulking around windows and doors when the wind is blowing 40 miles per hour and the temperature is below freezing. Take advantage of this early fall weather to make any needed repairs.
The first thing to do is schedule a service for your home heating system. It is not a good idea to wait until the temperature drops. If there are any problems with the system, you want to get them fixed now so you know your home will be warm when it is time to turn on the heater.
One of the easiest things to do to help cut your winter heating bill is to simply adjust the temperature on your heating system. When you are home, set the thermostat at least to 68 degrees, as recommended by the Department of Energy. When you are asleep or out of the house for longer periods, turn the thermostat down. The more you turn it down, the more you save. Or you could use a programmable thermostat to make it easier to adjust the temperature in your home when you’re not there.
You want to be sure to seal any air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around the chimney and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Add caulking or weather stripping around leaky doors and windows.
Also- keep your curtains or blinds open during daylight hours and let the sun help heat your house while it’s up! It’s free and can be effective at helping your heater warm your house.
While a nice fire in the fireplace can be warm and inviting on a cold winter’s night, keep the damper closed when it is not in use. An open damper is like keeping a window open in the winter. Cold air comes in and warm air escapes.
One way to maximize the heat from your fireplace is to install a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room. However, if you don’t use your fireplace at all, consider plugging and sealing the chimney flue.
It’s understandable if you want to spend these last few weeks enjoying the warm weather, but by taking care of these issues now, you’ll save yourself time and money, as well as avoid frustration in the future.