Winter is Coming, in your house prepared?

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on October 27, 2010 with No Comments

Get prepared for winter. First, make a list.

You need caulk, fluorescent 13 watt light bulbs, furnace filters, pipe insulation, window insulating kits, foam outlet inserts, batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a programmable thermostat and a fire extinguisher.

These are very important items that will save you energy costs as well as protect your family.

I just read where a cat saved the lives of a family of four as they were overcome by carbon monoxide when their furnace malfunctioned. The medical personnel said five more minutes of inhaling these fumes and the family would have been dead. Luckily because of the cat licking the mother’s face she was able to dial 911.

She could not speak, but the police arrived anyway. Now not everyone is fortunate enough to have a cat. So a carbon monoxide detector should be installed on each floor of your home.

Now! Today! Do not delay!

Smoke alarms should be in every room and hallway, especially the bedrooms. Remember to change those batteries, even if they do not need to be changed, each time we have a time change or every six months.

Now, you do not have to be handy to save money. To go along with the life saving tips keep a fire extinguisher in the garage, tool shed, kitchen and one downstairs. If you have a separate furnace room, put one there. I have seen too many people lose their precious possessions due to a small blaze that could have been handled quickly if an extinguisher was nearby. Above all, it saves lives.

Here is a few energy saving tips. Caulk all window and door openings from interior to exterior. If you do not know how to use a caulk gun, buy the caulk in the squeeze tubes. The perimeter walls of your home have switch plates and outlet covers. Remove them with a small standard screwdriver. Buy foam inserts that fit over the switches and outlets, and replace the plates you removed.

Check the bottom of your entry doors for air. Most likely your sweep is worn out. Spray along the bottom edge of the door where the sweep meets with WD 40 penetrating oil. Wait five minutes and slide the sweep off.

Go to the hardware store and buy a replacement. Come back and install it. If it does not come off, buy one that attaches to the outside of the door and install it.

Now go to your furnace and find the filter. Remove it, take it with you when you go to the hardware store and buy six more just like it. Bring them home and install one. Then each month replace it with a new one.

While you are there, pick up some three-fourths inch and one-half inch pipe insulation. They are in 4 foot lengths. Bring them home and install them around all your water pipes running under the home. The foam has a split down the middle and easily slides on the pipe. If you can get some duct tape around them after installation, even better.

After checking your windows for air leaks, while at the same store, buy the corresponding film insulation kits to cover the inside of the window units. Attach to the wood trim with two-sided tape. Then gently use your hairdryer to blow hot air on the film causing it to shrink and give you an air-tight fit.

Also, if you have not had your furnace cleaned in the past two years, do it. Check your attic insulation. Make sure it is at least 4 inches higher than the top of the ceiling joists.

Wear extra clothing in the home. It is cheaper than turning up the thermostat. Get use to turning off the lights when leaving a room. Keep your dryer vent clean. Only use the dryer for full loads. This appliance uses more energy than any other in the home.

It sure cannot hurt to turn the thermostat down two to four degrees when retiring for the night. Your body temperature drops when you are at rest and you can always throw on an extra blanket.

Last but not least. Change your incandescent light bulbs to the 13 watt fluorescent bulbs. The retail price of the bulb is higher, however, changing will reduce energy consumption 50 percent and the bulb will last 10 times longer.

You do not have to be handy to handle many of those tips.

Good luck this winter, be safe and healthy. Get your flu shots. It will save you money in the long run.

Until Next Month . . . Cecil

For future questions or concerns, call Cecil at Midwest Remodeling Windows and Doors

at 219-465-8101 or 219-763-6314.

Some small weatherproofing jobs require little to no “handiness”, but can make a real difference once cold weather hits. Start now with these tips, while the weather is still somewhat accommodating.

– Clean gutters and downspouts in mid-fall and double-check them before winter

– Replace the filter in your furnace

– Close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather

– Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and turn off the water

– Buy a snow shovel and other winter supplies before the messy weather hits

– Keep extra water and canned food in storage just in case

– Check the attic, walls, and basement for adequate insulation

– Feel around electrical outlets and switch-plates for cold air, add insulation where necessary

– Look around doors and windows for gaps and potential places where warm air can escape

– Caulk or apply weatherstripping around problem draft areas

– Have a contractor look for damaged roof shingles and loose gutters

– Have a heating/cooling expert look at your furnace if you are unsure of its efficiency

– Have chimneys and woodstoves cleaned early in the season

– Test the flue for each fireplace for a tight seal when closed

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