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Seasonal Home Winterizing Tips

Tips continued

8) Got hot water baseboard heat? Vacuum the baseboard elements to allow for better heat transfer. Make sure the radiators aren’t blocked by thick carpeting or furniture. Here’s a cheap DYI tip: pickup pre-sliced pipe insulation and install it on your exposed heating pipes. Both J. M .Hartel Co. & Beckerle Lumber sell this.  
9) Got steam heat? Make sure your radiator vents are working and not painted over. If they don’t let air out, they can’t let steam into the radiator.
10) Got hot air heat? Make sure that ducts are clear of rugs and furniture. Change your air filter. Seal any leaks in your ductwork. Use metal backed tape, not regular duct tape.
11) This is a good time to have your heating system serviced. You have your car serviced, right? Well your heating system needs to be serviced as well. Better to have it done now than to have to pay for an emergency service when the thermometer reads single digits. This is an area where you definitely want to use a professional licensed heating contractor. If you have a hot water heating system (boiler) ask about an indoor/outdoor boiler reset control. This can save as much as 20% on your heating bill.  
12) Remove window screens and put up storm windows. If you don’t have storm windows or higher efficient windows, go get a window winterization kit. Beckerle Lumber sells them.
13) Replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat. This is a no-brainer.
14) Insulate your attic floor. Just be careful not to cover up fans or soffits. Your house does need to breathe.
15) Want to make a huge difference in heating costs as well as comfort levels? Search your house for leaks. You can feel the really bad leaks. Check doors, windows and exterior electric outlets. These are the normal culprits. You can seal leaks with caulk, door sweeps and weather striping. Use the right product for the right application. For example, some caulking can be painted; some will just deteriorate in exterior use. The average home has leaks that amount to a nine square foot hole in the wall.
There are many ways to save money and stay comfortable. Spend a little time and make it a family project. If you decide on a larger project like replacing your boiler, furnace or windows, use a professional licensed contractor. Not only will they do the right job, but they may even be able to find rebates and tax credits for you.
Courtesy of the Rockland County Builders & Remodelers Association.