It’s the last day of August and, though it may be hard to believe with the way balmy temperatures linger through September, the end of summer is nigh.
With this change of the seasons looming—and with concerns over supply keeping oil prices high—we’ve put together some tips to help you prepare for winter and save money on your heating bill.
1. System Maintenance
If you’ve been putting off doing maintenance on your HVAC or heating systems, do it now. If you can, get an energy audit, replace your old furnace with a newer, more energy efficient model, and redo your insulation as needed. If that is out of reach, replace the air filters in your furnace and check your house for air leaks.
2. Turn Down the Heat
This particular piece of advice seems to be repeated every time it gets cold, but it’s good advice, so we’ll say it again. Lower the ambient temperature of your home, and make up the difference in the spaces where you actually spend time.
3. Seal Your House
Seal your windows and doors to prevent drafts from leaching precious heat into the great outdoors.
4. Layers for You
If you live in the Utica area, you know the importance of layering to stay warm. For maximum coziness, add a wool sweater to your wardrobe. If you’re a “crafty” sort, you could even make one yourself!
5. Layers for Your House
Layers aren’t just for people, your house needs them, too! Even if you’ve already sealed your windows, a good set of heavy curtains will insulate them even further. And don’t be afraid to get creative. Curtains over a door or an outlet will stop a draft as effectively as they will over windows. Check out pictures of medieval castles if you need inspiration.
6. Let the Sun Shine
Just because you have curtains doesn’t mean you should keep them closed, especially not when the sun remains the most powerful heating element on earth. If there’s a place in your house that gets good light, open the curtains and let the sun do the work instead of your heating system.
7. Turn on the Oven
The reason you dread using the oven in summer is the exact reason why you should use it as much as possible in winter, it raises the temperature in one of the most used spaces in your house. So break out the recipe book and start cooking!
8. Targeted Heat
We’ve mentioned turning down the ambient temperature of your house so that it’s not wasted on heating rooms you don’t use. However,the other part of that equation is supplemental heat for the rooms you do use. An electric space heater for your bathroom and an electric blanket for your bed will do wonders for keeping you warm while putting the heat exactly where you need it.
9. Look Up State and Local Programs for Assistance
With oil and gas prices showing no signs of dropping, it may be worth investigating state and local programs for assistance over the winter.
And most importantly….
10. Be Prepared
Winter storms are inevitable. Make a plan and gather supplies now, so if a storm knocks your power out, you aren’t caught flat-footed.
Now, enjoy the rest of your summer, and when the cold season comes to the Mohawk Valley, stay safe and stay warm! And speaking of saving money, call us for a quote on your home insurance. We’ve been helping Utica area homeowners recently by getting them the right coverage for their home at the best price. Give us a call today at 315.330.8463.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.