It's starting to get cold out there. So take some time this fall, before it gets too cold; and get your home ready for the winter with a few simple steps:
- Seal drafts: Use door sweeps, weather-stripping or caulk to close spaces around exterior doors or windows. Caulk or apply tacky rope caulk to drafty spots. Install outlet gaskets in electrical outlets that share a home's outer walls. Seal outside leaks with weather-resistant caulk or masonry sealer for brick.
- Insulate walls and attics.
- Check the heat: Turn your heat on now, to make sure it's working, before the bitter cold weather descends.
- Make sure your heating ducts are well connected and insulated. Repair places where pipes are pinched, which impedes flow of heated air to the house, and fix gaps with a metal-backed tape (duct tape actually doesn't stand up to the job over time).
- Install storm windows or use a window insulation kit to cover windows with plastic sheeting from the inside.
- Inspect chimneys and fireplaces before use.
- Reverse ceiling fans: By reversing its direction, the fan will push warm air downward.
- Run generators outside. Open windows and fans do not provide enough ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.