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Save Energy & Stay Warm This Winter with These Proven Best Practice Tips

Winter Maintenance

Michigan is already deep in the grip of autumn with the changing leaves and the shortening days. Many of us may already be thinking about the string of holiday events and what they require, from candy to turkey to fighting the crowds for crazy sales, and visiting relatives for Christmas.

But it’s not just your personal schedule that needs to change, your home should also be prepared for the coming of winter, and we’ve got some tips to help you make the switch more successfully.

Load Up On De-Icing Salt

Frozen Pipe

Sooner or later snow is going to start falling, and with changes in temperature from day to night, this might cause melting, then freezing.

That results in icy sidewalks, driveways, and even outdoor plumbing which are more difficult for you and your family to navigate, as well as pedestrians just trying to walk past your house.

While a heavy snowfall means you’ll still need to do some heavy lifting, when it comes to light snow or ice, de-icing salt is an efficient solution.

Just scatter this on the affected areas, and the snow or ice melts into salt water, then it stays that way. Unless the temperature plummets way below the freezing point, that salt water continues to melt snow and provides traction for all people and vehicles in the area.

Ensure Alarms Still Work

Smoke Detector Check These days, it’s highly advisable to have two kinds of alarms; one for fire and one for carbon monoxide. People with newer alarms may have both these functions combined into one unit.

Newer units often also include a system to notify owners when the battery power is getting low and needs a replacement. If you don’t have one of these newer models, be sure to check that everything is working.

This is especially important for carbon monoxide alarms as we move into winter and you rely on your furnace more.

A breakdown in the system—such as incomplete combustion—can create carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and eventually lethal. The only way you know is with an alarm, or people getting sick, at which point the problem is already very serious.

Inspect & Maintain Insulation & Ventilation

Insulated HomeWhile it’s your furnace that keeps your home warm, it’s your insulation that determines how hard your furnace will work, and what kind of bills you pay for heating every month in the winter season.

The better your insulation is, the lower your bills. Check your insulation to make sure things like a leaky roof hasn’t damaged anything. If you’ve got older insulation or no insulation, add value to your home with an insulation upgrade this year.

Don’t forget to pay some attention to your ventilation too. Clear vents mean that heat is efficiently getting to every room in the home. Clean vents mean that air isn’t picking up mold that’s infested in the vents somewhere and making everyone in the household breathe it in. Also, make sure that any exhaust pipes or air intakes are also clear for maximum efficiency of your HVAC system.

Winter in Livonia, MI can be grim and uncomfortable, but you can make your home a retreat of warmth, comfort and cost efficiency by simply following these tips.