At Keystone-Deibler, Straub & Troutman Insurance, we know you’re aware that while our region has seen plenty of extremely warm days this year the reality is colder weather is on the way. That means it’s a good idea for homeowners in Elizabethville, Halifax, Millersburg, Upper Dauphin, Line Mountain and the surrounding region to take steps to prepare their homes for colder weather.
Clean Your Gutters
During warm weather the gutters are generally not something that you think of checking very often, if at all. The reality is, however, that leaves and other debris can build up over the summer months and continue as the weather starts to get colder.
When gutters and drains become filled with debris, they become clogged which can often enable ice dams to form. Ice dams in gutters and drains prevents your drainage system from working the way it should and the result can be water seeping into your home. And that’s a headache every homeowner wants to avoid.
Take the time now to clean out your gutters and outside drains and then run water through to make sure everything is clear and that there are no misalignments, which can also cause water damage.
Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting
Of course, the fall season also includes turning the clocks back an hour as Standard Time kicks in, meaning the days feel shorter as it gets dark earlier and earlier. Outdoor lighting can be both attractive and a way to provide greater safety, but because of longer periods of darkness those outdoor lights are often on for longer and longer periods of time.
For that reason, you can save yourself some money by using energy efficient light bulbs and lighting solutions designed to handle colder temperatures as well as rain and snow. You might even want to consider lights automatic daylight shut-off and lights with motion sensors so your lights are only on when they are needed.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks are one of the most common reasons for unnecessary increased energy costs. Air leaks enable warm air to escape out of your home which will cause your heating system to work harder than it should resulting in higher heating costs. Looks for cracks and openings between door frames and weatherstripping and use caulk to seal them.
Pay Attention to Your Furnace
Not many people think about their furnace when the weather is warm and pleasant, but your furnace is definitely something to pay attention to as you get your home ready for colder weather. It’s good to have your furnace cleaned each year and fall is a great time. Cleaning your furnace will remove any sediment build-up. Such build-up can make your furnace less efficient and can even become a fire hazard.
It is also important to remember to try to change your furnace’s filter regularly during the cold winter months. Dirty filters will reduce air flow and how efficient your furnace works.
Don’t Forget the Air Ducts
If your home has a central air/heating system if can be hard to remember to check the ducts which are often hidden in either the attic or the basement. The reality, however, is you can lose as much as 20% of the air moving through your home’s duct system if they aren’t properly sealed or insulated. Tightly sealing and insulating ducts can possibly lower your energy bill by over $100 a year.
Overall, proper insulation and insulating the right places in your home is a good way to keep your home warm while lowering energy costs.
Fans in Cold Weather – Sure!
Fans are generally thought of as something you use in warm weather to help keep you and your home cooler. But, ceiling fans in particular, can help circulate warm air during the colder months. Reversing the direction of your fan results in the fan pushing warm air downward, enabling it to recirculate. To be sure the fan is set to push warm air downward, check that the blades are spinning clockwise when you look up.
From all of us at Keystone-Deibler, Straub & Troutman Insurance we hope you have a wonderful, safe fall and winter season and, as always, we are here and ready to assist residents of E-ville, Halifax, Millersburg, Line Mountain, Upper Dauphin and the surrounding area with all their home and car insurance needs.