Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Bundle-up Your Home for Winter

September 2003 Issue

Food Allergies

Art & Music—The
Educational Advantage

Bundle-up Your Home
for Winter

Honey—Not So
Sweet for Infants

Did You Know?

Medicine Cabinet
Staples and Safety

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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Warm summer days are giving way to the cool, crisp weather of autumn. For you and I it’s easy enough to throw on a jacket, hat or scarf to conserve body heat and keep warm. For your home, it’s another matter altogether. With oil, electricity and natural gas prices hovering near record high levels, preparing your home for an efficient winter can make your family more comfortable with the added benefit of saving you money. With just a weekend of effort and some basic materials, you can stop many of the major sources of heat loss in your home.


Start by keeping cold air out of your home. Inspect the outside of your home for gaps and cracks around windows, doors and outdoor faucets. Use caulking to fill and seal any holes that let outside air into your home.

   

Use weather stripping to make a tighter seal around doors and windows.

The flickering light of a candle can help indicate places around doors and windows where air is passing through. If your windows are older and leak badly, you may want to consider replacing them with new, higher efficiency windows.

Check the insulation in your attic. The nice, warm air you pay to heat and keep in your house rises. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, you’re losing precious heat (and money) through your attic. Your local home improvement center can provide you with information about the recommended insulation depth for your geographic region. One tip from experts, if you can see the ceiling joists in your attic—you need more insulation.

Maintain your heating system. Clean and/or replace filters as often as each month. A clean filter improves efficiency and can help your furnace last longer. Have your furnace inspected in the autumn of each year to insure that it is operating properly and efficiently (this can also help protect your family from dangerous carbon monoxide emissions from a faulty heating system).

If you have a fireplace, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. An open damper acts just like an open window and much of your heated air finds its way right up your chimney. Be sure to open the damper again prior to using the fireplace.

Set your thermostat back when you’re away from home or while sleeping. "Setback" thermostats are available that can be programmed to lower the temperature automatically at specified times during the day and also raise the temperature prior to your arrival home each day.

If you have ceiling fans to help with cooling in the summer, reverse the blade direction so they blow upward toward the ceiling (thus pushing the warm air that has risen to the ceiling, downward into your living space).

You can improve the efficiency of your hot water heater by wrapping your water pipes with insulation and also wrapping a water heater blanket around your hot water heater.

Remember, it’s your hard-earned money that pays for heating your home. Why not do what you can to keep as much of that investment inside with you and your family!

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