Get a head start on winterizing your homes! In 2016 Boise had a total of 35.5 inches of snow over just a two month period between December and January, breaking the previous record of 30.5 inches during the winter of 1983-1984. So bundle up, Boise! Winter is coming!
1. Replace your filters! Make sure you change the filters in your central air and heating systems often. If you haven’t changed them recently, now is the perfect time to replace your old filters to prepare for winter.
2. Change the direction of your ceiling fans! If your ceiling fans turn counterclockwise, they are less effective at pushing hot air along the ceiling and towards the floor. Change your fans to turn clockwise for maximum heating efficiency.
3. Block the drafts! The U.S. Department of Energy says that drafts in the home can waste 5 to 30 percent of your energy use. Cover those expensive drafts with an inexpensive solution! Use a rolled up bath towel to cover door drafts, or cut up an old blanket to use as daft snakes throughout your home.
4. Clean your gutters! Before any snow falls, make sure that your gutters are free of leaves and debris so that water can flow and prevent icicles and ice dams from forming.
5. Insulate your pipes! No one has the time or extra cash to deal with frozen pipes. Covering your pipes with pipe foam can help reduce the risk of frozen pipes and help you pay less for hot water. Any pipe that is warm to the touch is a good pipe to insulate for the winter.
6. Control your thermostat! Purchasing a programmable thermostat can be a lifesaver for your bank account! With the ability to lower the thermostat while you’re at work, and then warm your home up right before you get back is a great way to save money and energy.
7. Water heater temp is too high! Many homeowners unknowingly keep their water heaters on the default setting, at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most homeowners, though, only need their hot water heaters to be set at 120 degrees to use comfortably. Lowering your hot water heater by 20 degrees can save anywhere from 6 to 10 percent on your bills!
8. Flush your water heater! You can flush out the particles and sediment that collects over time through the drain valve on the water heater, keeping your heater functioning at its best!
9. Cover your windows! Using plastic window cover can keep that cold winter air from infiltrating your home. Inexpensive window treatments can be purchased at any hardware store. Another great tip is to use bubble wrap to cover the windows! While it might look a little strange, bubble wrap will block the cold air while still allowing light to shine in.
10. Bring out those sweaters! Keeping you warm indoors doesn’t have to be left up to your heater. Grab those heavy knit sweaters, and get cozy. A long sleeved sweater can create up to 4 degrees of added warmth, giving your heater a little break.
After getting everything winterized , don’t forget to have fun! Check out these ideas for a festive holiday home, and despite the winter chaos Idahoans prepare for, you can still make this December one to remember!
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