During the long Massachusetts winters, taking care of your home and its appliances is essential. Not only does regular maintenance and care help to save on energy costs, but it also keeps everything in your home running smoothly throughout the cold season. By keeping these five tips in mind, you will be sure to keep your Somerville, MA home in safe and comfortable throughout the winter season.
Tip #1: Contact a Professional to Check on Your Heating System
Once per year, it is important to hire an HVAC professional to check over your heating system. This professional should check the fan belt that runs your furnace’s blower while also vacuuming out any debris and dust that has accumulated within the furnace. To keep your furnace clean throughout the winter, be sure to replace your filters on a monthly basis. If you allow your filters to become filled with dust, your furnace will not be able to operate efficiently and your energy costs will go up.
Tip #2: Replace Your Thermostat with a Programmable Option
To keep your energy costs down, keep your thermostat set at no higher than 68 degrees. At night and while you are away at work, turn your thermostat down to 65 degrees. To make this process easier, consider installing a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature at different times of the day and night. By setting the thermostat to increase to 68 degrees a half hour before you get up in the morning, you can wake up to a warm house. Similarly, setting the thermostat to increase the temperature about a half hour before you get home from work will allow you to be greeted by a warm house without wasting energy throughout the day.
Tip #3: Install Storm Windows
If your home does not have storm windows in place, consider getting them before this winter is over. Sotm windows help keep the warm air inside while blocking out the cold outdoor air. Interior storm windows can easily be mounted inside the window jambs or flush with your molding. They can then be removed when they are no longer needed. If you have a bigger budget, consider installing permanent exterior double-track or triple-track storm windows. These storm windows can be lowered and raised to adjust air flow whenever you desire.
Tip #4: Prepare Your Pipes
If you allow your pipes to become too cold, the water inside of them can freeze and cause the pipes to burst. To prevent this from happening, drain all of your exterior pipes and put insulation around any pipes that are exposed to the elements.
Tip #5: Add Extention to Your Gutter Downspouts
To prevent water damage and ice build up, it is important to clear out your gutters prior to the winter season. This way, the melted ice and snow can freely move through the gutters and away from your roof. To keep your foundation safe, add extensions to your downspouts. The extensions should move the melted water four to five feet away from your home. This way, the water will not drain and freeze near your foundation.