By John Voket
With all the buttoning up many homeowners are doing as temperatures drop and winter approaches, I went looking for some basic tips to help that won’t break the bank. Luckily, our partners at Better Business Bureau say that winterizing your home doesn’t have to be expensive.
We already learned in previous October reports that the installation of energy-efficient windows and doors, and adding or improving insulation can significantly reduce heat loss during cold months.
But there are plenty of other small fixes that can help reduce energy consumption, according to BBB. A common winterizing checklist includes:
- Changing air filters
- Installing or re-installing storm windows in the attic to stop warm air from leaking
- Clearing gutters to remove debris that could cause rainwater to freeze and damage them
- Cleaning ridge vents to allow your house to “breathe”
- Putting insulation film over windows to reduce drafts
- Inspecting weather stripping for cracks and peeling
- Installing a tight-fitting fireplace door or cover to stop the loss of heat through the chimney
Another way to keep heating bills under control is to compare electricity wholesalers’ prices and select a plan before demand and the cost of electricity increase. Just beware of wholesalers enticing consumers with a low introductory price, and then hitting them with significant cost increases without advance notification.
Consumers who can afford to should consider pre-purchase heating oil to prevent being subjected to market fluctuations.
The cost of heating oil may drop during a mild winter, however, heating oil prices typically rise at this time of year as demand increases. BBB recommends consumers research heating oil suppliers in advance, to ensure they are dealing with a reputable business with an established track record.
In our next segment, we’ll cover some important ground for consumers about pre-winter furnace maintenance. And for additional consumer tips, and to research or select professionals or contractors, visit bbb.org.