Winterize Your Home This Year

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winterizing-your-home-6851576The fall is reaching its end and winter is approaching. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you are probably accustomed to paying double your regular utility bills just to stay warm. If your goal is to spend less on heating bills while still staying toasty inside, you are in luck. There are several small adjustments that you may not be aware of that you can make to your home in preparation for the cold winter months. The first thing you should do is to see how your bills compare to the average utility payments in your area. One way to do this is to head to and go to the “Utilities” section to compare rates. Enter your information into the “Utilities” section on to see what the average energy use is in your area. Compare this number to last year’s winter bills. If your bills are drastically higher than average, you may have a problem with your heating unit. If you are handy with electronics and appliances, check your heating system for possible problems. Otherwise, you might want to have a technician verify that everything is working correctly. Let the technician know that showed that your heating bill is much higher than it should be and see if they can figure out some way to help. Finding a problem now would be much better than having your heater stop working in the middle of the winter during freezing conditions. If you found from that your bills are only slightly above average, or even better than average, there are other ways that you can prepare for winter that will not require replacing your heating system. One method is to reverse your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans have a little tiny switch on the base of the fan that controls its direction. The blades of a reversed fan will move clockwise as you are looking up at it. This will cause the fan to push the warmer air near the ceiling down toward the floor. This will help you stay warm since you will be surrounded by warm air. Another benefit is that the thermostat, which is usually located closer to the ceiling, will have a more accurate reading. Another method is to install door sweeps on exterior doors. This will prevent a draft from entering the room. If you are not the handy-type, roll up some small blankets or towels and push them up against the bottoms of the doors. Do not forget to clean your chimney. Utilizing your fireplace is one of the best ways to avoid sky-high heating bills. If you do not have one already, purchase a chimney damper and keep it closed when the fireplace is not being used. This will prevent cold air from entering your house. Check for other leaks in your home and seal them up. Use weather-resistant caulk for outside leaks. Use regular caulk to seal up indoor leaks. If you have hardwood, tile, or concrete floors, find a cozy rug and place it in the room that gets the most use. Rugs hold heat much better than other types of flooring. In addition to keeping your feet warm, a rug will provide more comfortable overflow seating for guests. Preparing your house for the winter will help you save money. If you are still looking for more ways to save money, check out to take advantage of free financial tools that will help you figure out how to cut back on expenses.

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