10 Ways to Prepare For What Farmer’s Almanac is Calling a “Piercing Cold” Winter

September 24, 2013

Summer is officially over and fall has begun. And while winter may seem a ways off, now is the perfect time to prepare so you won’t be caught off guard by what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting will be a cold and wet winter for the Kansas City area.

To help make sure you’re ready for the cold, we’ve put together a quick checklist of the 10 most important things you should get done before winter to keep your home safe and energy efficient.

Make sure the furnace flue is clear

It’s not uncommon for birds to nest in your furnace flue in the summer. Make sure you check the flue before turning on your furnace this winter.

Check your thermostat settings

We recently talked about how to program your thermostat to save money on air conditioning costs. Before winter begins, don’t forget to change your settings to be more winter friendly.

Change the ceiling fan setting

Ceiling fans should be blowing air down onto you during the summer (to make you feel cooler). In the winter, you should reverse the direction and use fans on slower settings to help circulate warm air.

Call a chimney sweep

If you have a fireplace in your home, it’s important that you have your chimney checked by a qualified professional regularly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends a yearly cleaning because NOT cleaning your chimney is one of the most common causes of heating-related fires.

Check/install a carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And most carbon monoxide-caused deaths happen in the winter. So make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Protect pipes from freezing

To prevent potential winter plumbing disasters, it’s a good idea to make sure you insulate exposed pipes. Look for pipes in the garage, attic or basement and make sure they’re insulated. You can purchase pipe insulation at a home improvement store specifically for this purpose.

Insulate your water heater

Your water heater is the second biggest energy use in your home (next to your heating and air conditioning system). If you have a traditional tank water heater, you can make it more energy efficient this winter by wrapping it in an insulating blanket. This will help reduce the amount of energy that is lost to the colder outdoor air.

Inspect your windows for air leaks

The weather stripping around doors and windows wears out over time, which can let cold air into your home during the winter. Find and seal any drafts to help reduce your winter heating bills.

Check the roof

Before the winter storms come, get on a ladder and check out your roof (or have a professional do it for you). Make sure your roof is in good condition and replace any missing shingles.

Santa Fe Air servives all of the Kansas City metroa areas. To schedule a furnace tune-up or to get more information, contact us today.

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