Here are some tips from Chris in our hardware department:
- Seal up any windows that you will not be opening all winter. We carry kits that you can purchase which contain sheets of plastic in varying sizes and double-sided tape. You simply put the double-sided tape around the window, press the plastic in place and heat it up with a hairdryer until the plastic has a nice, tight look. Plastic can be removed when the weather warms up in the spring.
- Caulk windows to seal any drafts that may be coming in. You can also purchase spray foam to seal any unwanted drafty areas.
- Installing door sweeps is a great way to stop cold air from entering your home. You can also get draft stops to keep cold air from sneaking in under the door.
- Pipe insulators with electric wires, also known as heat tape, work great to keep pipes from freezing in crawl spaces or un-insulated areas. Heat tape will not provide sufficient heat to thaw a frozen pipe. This product is meant to be used as a preventative measure.
- Remove air conditioners from your window. If you must leave one in, cover the machine with a wind-proof air conditioner cover to prevent drafts. Stuff foam around any openings between the plastic fins and the window. Foam can be left in during the summer months, too, to keep cold air in.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans to spin clockwise during the winter. Running a fan on low in this direction will help push warm air down from the ceiling.
- Fall is a perfect time to change your furnace and central air filters. Be sure to save the packaging or note the filter dimensions near the furnace, so you can purchase next season’s replacement without removing the dirty filter first. While you are in the basement, check your water heater blanket and pipe insulation for damage.