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Winter Home Preparation: Energy Checklist

People prepare for winter weather in a variety of ways, whether it’s winterizing a garden, boat or sprinkler system. But have you thought about your home? There are different systems in a home that are affected by cold weather and, in turn, need preparation. We’ve crafted the list below to help you get started!


First, check your heating system by turning on the heat mode and setting it to 80 degrees. You should be able to hear the furnace start up and begin to feel warm air blow. If it seems to be running smoothly, you can turn it back to its normal setting. If for any reason you think it is not operating properly, contact a qualified technician to inspect your system. Remember that you should have your furnace serviced by a technician seasonally to ensure top performance. He or she will also remind you to replace your air filters regularly and check for carbon monoxide leaks while you’re at it.

Next up is your cooling system. You can clear all debris from your unit using a hose which will clean the fan blades and clear any dirt on the condensing coils. Once clean, cover the condensing unit with a breathable waterproof cover. Covering it will extend the life of your unit and its overall efficiency.

Before you light your first fire this winter, be sure to run it through an inspection. First make sure your chimney doesn’t have any nests left behind from birds, squirrels or other animals. Next check the flue damper to make sure it opens and closes fully, and that it can be locked in both positions. Once this is checked off, put it in the open position and light newspaper in the fireplace to see if the smoke rises. If it doesn’t, something is preventing the smoke from rising and you should call a professional to clean the chimney.

No one wants a pipe to burst because they didn’t properly inspect their plumbing in preparation for the colder months. If you have exposed piping in uninsulated places (attic, outside walls, etc.), make sure to insulate them with foam insulation, or wrap them with electrical heating tape first and then insulate. Don’t forget about the outside of your home. If you have any outdoor faucets, be sure to turn off the water supply from inside and drain of any leftover water.