Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

As winter approaches, TCU Insurance wants you to be prepared for the cold and be energy-efficient, too! Here are tips to keep your home comfortable while keeping your utility bills down.

With winter approaching, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. By accomplishing these tasks, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency and protect it against damage caused by rain, snow and freezing temperatures.

Arrange for a home energy audit. This is done by a professional and can help you uncover any issues or problems with your home before the cold weather sets in.

Feel for under-door drafts. You may be surprised at how much energy we lose underneath doors that are not properly sealed. To cut down on energy loss, you can use a “draft snake” or replace the weather stripping beneath your door.

Seal around windows. You may be losing heat around your windows as well. By making sure they are properly caulked, you may cut your heating bill dramatically.

Add insulation. Many older homes have little or no insulation in the attic. Adding insulation to the attic, walls or floors can make a big difference in winter (conserving heat) and summer (keeping the cool air in).

Update your appliances. By upgrading an old furnace, or purchasing more efficient appliances, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency while keeping it warm during those cold weather months.

Change the direction of your ceiling fan. Did you know that rotating your fan clockwise produces warmer air, and counterclockwise produces cooler air? It’s true!

Install a programmable thermostat. Keeping temperatures lower at night can save you a lot of money on heating costs. Additionally, smart thermostats or temperature monitors will wirelessly alert you to unusually low temperatures in the home, which is a possible precursor to freezing pipes.

Lower your water heater temperature. By keeping the maximum temperature of your water heater just a little lower it will consume less energy, which can also save money.

Keep your home temperature no lower than 65 degrees. While you want to save money (especially if you’re away), you also need to make sure your pipes don’t freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break. 

Practice fire safety. Chilly weather is so much more inviting if you can curl up by the fireplace, light some scented candles or do a little holiday baking. But with all of those activities comes an added risk of fire. Make sure you, your family and your home are ready for the season by preparing your fireplace and checking fire extinguishers and batteries in smoke detectors. Then, hold a fire drill so everyone knows what to do and where to go if the unexpected happens.

Get protection with smart home technology. Smart home tech doesn’t only save money on utilities, it can also serve as a monitor for water leaks, fire, intruders and more. And if that’s not a good enough reason to go high-tech, you may even earn a homeowners insurance discount for using qualified technology.

Personal insurance review. It’s a great idea to have an annual review of your homeowners insurance to make sure you have all the coverage you need. Connect with TCU Insurance Agency to schedule your personal insurance review, and be sure to ask if there are any new discounts you might be eligible to receive.

Reducing your insurance risks, keeping warm and saving money are all key to staying safe and happy this winter.