There have already been sightings of snow here in West Michigan! This means that winter is right around the corner. As a home owner, there are some important steps to prepare your home and your wallet for the Michigan winter weather.
- Sprinkler lines – If you have not already, blow out your underground sprinkler lines and above ground hoses to avoid them cracking from water freezing in the cold weather.
- Seal up drafts – Your warm heated air can leak out and let in the cold, which can create irregular drafts and temperatures in the home as well as create a dent in your monthly energy bill. Removing AC window units, placing a draft stopper (or a towel) under a drafty door/window, ensuring ducts are properly sealed, and placing insulation around window edges will help to minimize the heat leaving and cold entering your home.
- Ceiling fans – Many ceiling fans have the ability to run blades in reverse/clockwise, which makes it warmer. As hot air rises, this will allow the hot air to circulate back into the room to make your home warmer and save energy.
- Furnace filters – Changing your furnace filters on a monthly basis during heating season will increase air flow and minimize your energy usage. Helpful tip: put a reminder in your calendar to do this once a month so that you do not forget.
- Water heater – Lowering your water heater to 120 degrees can help to decrease the cost of your monthly bills by as much as 10%.
- Thermostat – Reducing the temperature of your home by even one degree can easily shave 1-3% off your heating bill each month. Put on a sweater or cozy up under a blanket instead of heating that extra couple of degrees to save some serious bucks.
- Emergency back up – The weather can change quickly in West Michigan! It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to precautions. Be sure to have batteries, flashlights, and candles on hand in case of a power outage. Having other items like canned food and camping cooking equipment nearby will ensure a warm meal even with no power. Lastly, an additional item to consider would be a back up generator to keep the utilities in the home up and running in case of a power outage due to a winter storm.
- Upgrade – Do you have an older furnace? Upgrading your furnace to a newer, more energy efficient model can help to save you lots of money over the course of the winter and lifetime of the furnace.
Doing these things can help to save you extra money in repairs and extra money in your wallet over the course of the upcoming Michigan winter weather!