Just like the exterior of your house, the interior of your house needs some attention before Old Man Winter comes to town. As a follow up to our blog entry on Winterizing Your Home – The Exterior of Your House, we will cover some of the key areas inside your home that you should consider before the winter season. The two major areas include your furnace and the weather stripping around your windows and doors.
Your furnace is the heart of your home and your best friend in the winter. The most important pre-winter activity is to schedule a heating system maintenance call. This applies to both new and old furnace units. The technician will clean the burners and fan, lubricate the moving parts, change the filter and check the operation of the important safety mechanisms.
If you choose to have the service done later in the heating season, you can start the winter season off right by replacing or cleaning the furnace air filter. If you have a humidifier you should clean it out as well.
If you live in a new house, odds are your windows and doors are well sealed. Old windows and doors, (and unfortunately even some newer ones), may need sealing to keep heat in and cold out. One approach would be to replace them – but that can get a bit costly. Luckily, great improvements can be made with simple weather stripping kits available at any hardware store. Due to the tremendous variation in shapes and sizes, we could write a novel about how to do this, but all you really need to do is to find the pre-packaged material that has a picture of your window or door, or something close to it, and follow the instructions.
The previous suggestions are the most important winter tune-up steps. Other winterizing ideas include:
• Cleaning the grilles and registers – especially the cold air return
• Cleaning and lubricating exhaust fans
• Cleaning out the dryer vent and cover
• If you have electric baseboard heaters, vacuum the dust off the interior fins, and make sure drapes and curtains are several inches above their hot surfaces
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your winter check list before it gets too cold! Want more tips like the ones mentioned above? Check out our Resource Center.