There may still be some sunshine and warmer temperatures here in Austin, but that doesn’t mean winter isn’t right around the corner! As the clouds are more and more present, and the temperatures begin to drop, you may be having flashback to last winter in your home. Was it drafty? Did you have a tough time achieving the temperature that you set on your thermostat? What did your energy bills look like?
As the premiere home performance and home comfort specialists in Austin, we here at Green Collar Operations have an easy 5-step winter home checklist to making sure your home is performing at its very best before the winter cold is in full force.
5. Replace Your Furnace Air Filter
Though this should be a year round chore, replacing the air filters in your furnace is much more important as Texas turns from fall to winter. As your furnace has sat dormant for the warmer months, your air filter can become dirty and clogged. Make sure you have the right type and size to replace your old filter with. And if you’re not sure, give Green Collar Operations a call.
4. Double Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Similar to your air filters, this should be checked year round. But when you rely on heating appliances, your risk of fire and carbon monoxide in the air increase. Combustion appliances like water heaters and furnaces can leak carbon monoxide into the air you breath at home, and though pilot lights are not likely to start a fire, you want to make sure you know about it if they do.
3. Remove Any Existing Window AC Units
News flash: Texas gets hot in the summer. Okay, that may not be groundbreaking information. But that Texas heat has a lot of homeowners using window AC units to keep cool. If you’re using a window unit during the summer, you aren’t going to need it once things get cool, so take it out and throw it away! These small appliances will undoubtedly create cracks and gaps in the window seal (even the tiniest holes matter!) and will allow the cold winter air to infiltrate your home, forcing your furnace to work that much harder to keep up.
2. Clean Your Gutters
After the beauty of the changing leaves in fall, you may have an excess of leaves and debris buildup in your gutters. With the increase in rainfall during the colder months, it is imperative to your home’s overall health that your gutters are draining properly.
It is a common misunderstanding that clogged gutters can lead to ice dams. But the truth is, ice dams begin inside the home. Poor insulation and a bad air seal in an attic allow for inconsistent temperatures along a roof, so snow will melt inconsistently as well. This leads to increased buildup and stress on your roof.
And since we’re on the topic of ice dams and insulation...
1. Schedule an Energy Audit
The number one tip we have for preparing your home for winter is to schedule an energy audit with the local Austin experts at Green Collar Operations. An energy audit is a comprehensive assessment of your home performance, which comes along with tailored recommendations on what you can do to stay warm all winter long — and spend less to keep it that way. Green Collar Operations will run a series of tests in your home to determine where you are leaking air, where your insulation is lacking, and what shape your ductwork and heating appliances are in.
Looking For More Tips? Call Green Collar!
Don’t wait for the temperatures to drop to winter levels before you start to weatherize your home. Preparing for the cold weather ahead of time is the only way to ensure you save the maximum amount on your energy bills and stay warm until the spring is back here in Texas.