Winter is coming, the winter season at the mountain has started, and everybody is impatiently waiting for the big snow to come!
But if you own a home in Mammoth you might not be so excited about the approaching winter. There's a lot to think about to get our homes ready for the season, and we always think we might be missing something.
We all should be aware of the classics (that should have been taken care of already!): service the furnace and water heater, change the filters, drain the lawn irrigation system, trim overgrown branches away from the house, clean the gutters, stock up firewood if you use a fireplace or wood stove, etc.
There are a few more things that we can easily do ourselves to stay warmer and shave the bills.
1- Reverse Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat, and run fans slowly. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).
This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings -- and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
2- Caulk around windows and doors
If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements.
Add weatherstripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.
3- Install a door sweep
Use a door sweep to stop drafts from entering your home under an exterior door. A sweep is a flexible piece of rubber or plastic that’s held to the door’s lower edge by a strip of aluminum.
4- Seal attic air leaks
Find and seal gaps that could be allowing as much as 30 percent of your heated or cooled air to leak outdoors. These leaks can add up to heating and cooling costs.
Pull back attic insulation to find and seal cutouts in drywall for electrical fixtures, pipes, fans and outlets. Also check wiring, chimneys, flues, vent stacks and ducts, and seal them on the inside. Use caulk to fill smaller gaps and pressurized expanding foam for bigger openings
5- Use window coverings
It’s surprising how much insulation curtains, drapes and shades can provide.
Draw window coverings at night and when you’re away to conserve heat in the home. During the day, open drapes of south facing windows to get the most out of the warming sun.
If you have single pane windows that are north facing, you can even consider getting a sheet of insulation foam, cut it to fit, and block them out.
Otherwise, to enjoy the daylight, you can double them with plastic or bubble wrap. You'll be surprised how much this will help insulating your house.
Now that the due diligence is done we can go have fun in the snow knowing that we'll be back to a warm and cozy home!