Fall First... But "Winter is Coming"

August 31, 2018

What is the best time to winterize your home? When the weather is cooperating and as any Game of Thrones fan can tell you... "winter is coming".

 

 

With Fall on our doorstep, it’s important to prepare your home for the change in weather in the coming months. Doing so can help lower your energy bills this winter, prevent damage to your home and keep you toasty all winter long. By burning less energy to heat your newly winterized home, you can save money on your heating costs and it all starts with AUTOMATION.

 

Heating

Get an Alarm.com smart thermostat. You don’t need the heat turned way up while you’re sleeping or at work, so investing in a thermostat is guaranteed to save you money this winter. The Alarm.com smart thermostat works with your Alarm.com mobile application, and comes fully integrated into your home security system. You can get a smart thermostat with NO MONEY DOWN with your home security system, installed American Defense Systems (with select rate plans, some restrictions will apply). Be sure to clock CHAT WITH US to speak with a representative about getting your smart thermostat today!

 

Change your fan to go clockwise. Most fans spin counterclockwise, but many have a setting to make them rotate clockwise instead. Doing this creates an updraft that circulates heat better than it does going counterclockwise. This might be the easiest tip ever yet it’s one that many homeowners don’t know about.

 

Replace filters and clean vents. You should be replacing your HVAC filters on a regular basis anyways, but if you don’t, consider this is the time to do it. A clean filter means easier airflow and greater efficiency. Same idea goes for the vents (clean them out). New HVAC filter replacements are cheap – as little as $10, or get a permanent filter to cut down on waste.

 

Insulate! Make sure all of the important places (attics, basement, exterior walls, crawlspace, etc.) are properly insulated with quality material. If you are looking for an eco alternative to traditional insulation, try looking into recycled denim or wool insulation. This tip is where you’ll see huge savings!

 

Windows/Doors

Try a window insulation film kit. This is basically using plastic shrink-wrap to completely seal up your windows. It may not be the prettiest solution, and keep in mind that you can’t open your windows until you take it off, but it’s an inexpensive trick to try!

 

Draft Guard Your Door. There will always be a minuscule crack between the door and the floor, and it can sneakily let cold air in and warm air out. Buy a draft guard for exterior doors (they’re only about $10) or shove a rolled up towel at the bottom of the door for now.

 

Install storm doors and windows. Take off your summer screens and replace them with the glass panes. This gives you another layer of glass protection from freezing temps and cold winter winds.

 

Water

Water Sensors: Another fully integrated item you can add to your smart security system is the Qolsys Flood. This water detection device can be placed under or around your home's pipes, your hot water heater, or well pump. Get a notification on your Alarm.com mobile app in real time. The only way to mitigate water damage is to know as soon as a leak is sprung. Act fast, and minimize damage. 

 

Wrap Your Pipes: Pipes that freeze and burst can do a lot of damage, but take comfort that you can prevent it from happening! It’ll also help you out energy-wise because warm pipes mean that your water heater won’t have to work as hard to get hot water through to you (versus icy pipes that cool the water before it gets to your faucet). Read on for more tips on how to do it.

 

Flush out the water heater. To keep your water heater as efficient as possible, take the time to flush the water through the drain valve. Sediment and other tiny materials can settle in the bottom over time and need to be cleared out every so often. Check out this how-to before trying it.

 

Clean Your Gutters: Get that junk out of those gutters! Leaves and debris quickly clog up your gutter, making it hard for precipitation to flow through them. In late November or early winter, once most of the leaves are down, do one last cleaning. This will keep rain and melted snow from building up and also prevent huge icicles from forming.

 

Some added recommendations:

  • Repair ducts and insulate them

  • Get a chimney balloon

  • Plant conifer trees to function as a windbreak

  • Buy thermal curtains

  • Use weather-stripping tape on windows and doors

  • Caulk gaps in siding, doors, and windows

To learn more about getting your home secure and automated with Alarm.com and American Defense Systems, click Chat with us or give us a call at 817-900-8457. 

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