As a resident of New Jersey, you are well aware of how harsh the winter months can be. By taking a few steps before the cold winter temperatures hit, you can help save money on your electric bill while also keeping your home safe through the tough winter weather. Even if you did everything to prepare your home for the winter this fall, there might be a few simple home repairs that you didn’t think to make. Fortunately, it is not too late to complete these five home repairs that every homeowner should make each winter.
Repair #1: Caulk Door and Window Frames
A great deal of heat is lost in many homes during the winter when it escapes through gaps in window and door frames. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that ten percent of the air that leaks from a home escapes through closed windows. With the help of a little caulk and weatherstripping on your door and window frames, you can keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Repair #2: Add Extensions to Your Gutters
Hopefully, you already cleaned out your gutters before the New Jersey snow started to fall. Clearing your gutters is essential because it allows the snow that melts from your roof to drain down to the ground. If you do not clear out the debris, the melted snow and ice will simply freeze once more inside of the gutters and plug them up. To further help with getting the melted snow and ice away from your home, add extensions to your downspouts. These extensions will help carry the water away from your foundation so it is not damaged by the excessive water and freezing ice.
Repair #3: Replace Your Thermostat
A thermostat that is not working properly can lead to a great deal of energy loss, particularly if it is causing your furnace to run when it is not necessary. When replacing your thermostat, choose a programmable model. This way, you can program your thermostat to automatically turn down while you are sleeping and while you are away at work. You can also program the thermostat to turn up the heat shortly before you wake up and before you arrive home from work. This way, you will be greeted by a warm house without unnecessarily wasting energy throughout the day or night.
Repair #4: Clean Out Your Furnace
Once per year, you should be sure to have an HVAC professional clean and check your furnace. In addition to checking the belt and other mechanisms, the professional will clean out the dust and debris that has built up in your system over the past year. You should also be sure to replace your filter once per month. Keeping your furnace and filter clean ensures your system is running efficiently, thereby reducing your energy cost as well as the amount of wear and tear your furnace must undertake.
Repair #5: Insulate Pipes
Approximately 30 percent of the cold air that leaks into the average home comes in through the holes where pipes enter the home. Check pluming pipes as well as vents and electrical conduits. Make sure any gaps that exist around these pipes are filled with an insulating foam sealant or with caulk.