Ensuring Your Home is Warm and Cosy for the Winter

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According to the Farmers’ Almanac, a cold, ‘snowier-than-normal’ winter is predicted for Massachusetts in 2018, with five periods promising to be particularly chilly: the 20th to 23rd January, the 4th to 7th and the 16th to 19th of February, and the 1st to 3rd and 20th to 23rd March. The fall season will officially be coming to a close at the end of November, so make sure your home is warm and snuggly by making keeping the heat in. 

Home Insulation

Most people worry about all about their home and water heaters as winter approaches, yet fail to make one important move: reinforcing their insulation! To check if you have enough insulation in your attic, observe your floor joists – are they visible? If so, you will need more insulation. 

Make sure that the entire attic is well covered; that you haven’t left the eaves uncovered, for instance. Ensure you have at least 10 to 14 inches of insulation, as a general rule. If you need more insulation, you can use either loose fill or batt over existing material. Loose fill is your best bet for attics with irregular joist spacing or where insulation needs to be topped (since it fits gaps perfectly), while batt is a good option if the attic has no insulation and standard joist spacing. 

Air Leakages

While you carry out your home insulation inspection, look around to see if there are any leakages in your heating system – check the spaces around window HVAC units, windows and doors, baseboards, etc. Also, look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which could indicate leaks in wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists.

Take Care of your Heating Equipment 

Be aware of heating equipment that can suffer from freezing temperatures, including tankless water heaters – most manufacturers do not cover problems related to damage caused by freezing, so if you are purchasing this type of system for the first time, buy one with built-in freeze protection. If you already own a tankless water system, protect the external plumbing by insulating the external pipes or using a built-in thermostat designed to heat the pipes when temperatures drop. Always make sure your home water heater is insulated, so that no heat is unnecessarily lost. 

Make Big Cost Savings with a Programmable Thermostat

One of the most important reasons for using a programmable thermostat is the cost savings involved (the average family can save up to 2% on their utility bill). Another big bonus is that it can help you keep your home consistently warm throughout the winter, without having to crank up the heating on freezing cold days. This type of thermostat will help you maximize the heat in specific areas – for instance, the living room or a specified number of bedrooms.

To keep your home warm and cosy, prevention is always better than cure. Find the weak points in your home (lack of insulation, ear leakage), guard against damage, and use a programmable thermostat to ensure you never feel cold. Finally, it pays to have a heating professional check out your heating system before the coldest weather rolls in. Maintenance is required for most home machinery, but especially for all-important heating.

Submitted by Sally Perkins

About Jennifer Doyle

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