□ Fill all cracks and crevices in your foundation. This will prevent cold air or water from leaking into your house, which will reduce your energy costs and potential for damage. Expandable foam is great for sealing oddly-shaped gaps or hard-to-reach areas.
□ Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Before starting a fire in the fireplace, make sure your chimney cap is intact, and that your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper are all working properly.
□ Clean your gutters, then install an ice shield on your roof. This protects you from ice dams forming on the edge of the roof and the damage that improperly draining melting snow may cause.
□ Trim branches that hang over your rooftops, power lines, or driveway to prevent possible damage if snow accumulation snaps them.
□ Put a reusable A-frame structure over foliage you are worried may be damaged by snow accumulation. Wrap twine around the middle of tall, narrow greenery to prevent broken branches. Protect small shrubs by wrapping them in burlap and stapling the material to stakes.
□ Remove your air conditioner(s) from your window(s) or securely wrap them with an approved tarp or plastic cover to prevent cold air from seeping in. If your air conditioning unit has a water valve, shut it off and drain it.
□ Flush your water heater to clear any built-up sediment, then wrap it with an insulation blanket to prevent heat from escaping the unit and using extra energy.
□ Check into a smart thermostat. Programming the house to heat when you are there and lowering the temperature when you are not will save you money and simplify your life.
□ Install a storm door and seal gaps around the doors and window frames with weatherstripping to prevent unwanted airflow and heightened energy costs.
□ Add extra insulation between your walls, attic floor, and basement ceiling to keep the heat in your living area where you want it.
□ Place foam insulators behind your light switch plates and electrical outlet covers.
□ Set the rotation of your ceiling fans to clockwise, distributing warm air back down into the room.
□ Use foam-rubber insulation to prevent the exposed metal of your pipes from getting too cold. This helps you avoid frozen pipes – one of the messiest and most damaging winter problems you can face in your home!
□ Change your furnace filters often to allow correct airflow and reduce your energy demand. Fiberglass or paper furnace filters should be replaced every one or two months. Electrostatic or HEPA filters should be cleaned every two to four months.
□ Want to know what more you can do? Schedule an energy audit with your local service provider to identify any other inefficiencies that may have been overlooked.