The weather in Atlanta is FINALLY starting to feel like winter is on the horizon. So, now is the time to prepare your home for the drop in temperature that is coming.
If you are a first time homeowner in Atlanta, you likely have never heard of outdoor faucet covers -but they are pretty important. First things first, you want to disconnect your hoses, let the existing water out, and put those away in a crawl space or basement for the winter. Then, you need to insulate the outdoor faucets with something like this. Frozen pipes (that will eventually burst) can cost easily over $10,000. And for less than $20 (for most homes) you can spare your self this nightmare.
Next, check around doors and windows for drafts that need sealing. Also check for a draft around any pull down attic doors – you can actually lose around 30% of your heat there. They make several different options to seal those. Here is the one that I use – the Battic attic door.
Next you want to change your furnace filter. A clogged filter makes your furnace work that much harder – increasing the workload on your system. A clogged filter will also shorter the lifespan of your unit. Also have your furnace serviced. Bi-annual servicing can keep you system running optimally for the life of the unit – and not servicing can take 5 years off the life of the unit (whoa!)
If you have not already, install a programable thermostat. Set the temperature lower during the day when you are not there to save money. I love my Nest thermostat – it does that for me!
Don’t forget to clean your gutters. Frozen puddles of water and leaves are heavy and can pull the gutters away from your home.
Run your ceiling fans in reverses. I know, ceiling fans are for cooling, right? Well, yes! But most fans also come with a switch where you can run them counterclockwise. Heat pools near the ceiling and running the fan in reverse will send that warm air back down to your living area. This can save up to 10% off your energy bill.
These next steps are for folks who want to REALLY make their home energy efficient. You can insulate your pipes under the house and insulate your water heater. You can also install storm doors and windows. If you don’t want to install storm windows, they make a plastic film you can put over the glass that helps as well.
These are just some of the things you can do to help save money and protect your largest investment for the winter months. If you have any questions about any of these, feel free to respond to the post and I will get back to you.