Step 1: Examine the exterior of the home for new cracks and crevices. Look for gaps where different materials meet, such as brick and siding, wood and concrete, stone and stucco. Examine plumbing and electrical entrance points and the perimeter of the foundation for openings or imperfections. Fill voids with caulk, mortar, hydraulic cement or spray foam insulation.
Step 2: Examine doors and windows. Seal around windows and doors with caulk. Replace torn or damaged weather stripping, door sweeps and thresholds.
Step 3: Remove screens and put up storm windows. Caulk or weather strip around storm windows so they have the best seal possible.
Step 4: Cover windows that do not have functioning storms with plastic. Interior or exterior prepackaged kits with double-sided sticky tape are easy to install and energy efficient.
Step 5: Insulate behind switch plates and cover plates with pre-cut foam insulating gaskets.
Step 6: Reverse the direction of ceiling fans. In the winter fan blades should rotate clockwise to push heat down and properly circulate warm air.
Step 7: Wrap water lines with closed cell foam or fiberglass insulation. Install heat tapes on pipes that run through exterior walls or in unheated areas of the home such as crawl spaces.
Step 8: Check the furnace duct work for leaks, gaps or breaks. Ditch the duct tape and seal ducting joints with fiber reinforced duct sealant. Insulate around duct work running through unheated portions of the home. Homes with improperly connected or poorly insulated ducts can lose up to 60 percent of the heated air before it reaches its destination.
Step 9: Change the furnace filter. Filters remove dust and other airborne particles that can damage the fan, motor and heating coils of the furnace. When the filter becomes clogged, the motor works longer and harder to pull air through. Strain on the motor increases the daily cost of heating and cooling and decreases the life expectancy of the furnace.
Step 10: Disconnect garden hoses and rain barrels. Clean gutters and trim back vegetation to avoid damage caused by freezing
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