(NC)—This winter, make your home a warm haven from snowstorms and the cold by properly preparing for the temperature drop. Winterproofing will boost your home's energy efficiency, save you money and help keep the whole family cozy. Here is a winterizing checklist to help you prepare your home before the snow falls.
□ Draft-proof windows and doors. Sealing cracks with weather stripping or caulking is an easy, cost-efficient way to prevent cold air from coming in. This is especially true in homes more than 20 years old, where air leakage can account for up to 40 per cent of overall heat loss.
□ Insulate cold areas. Insulate colder areas of the home such as the attic, porch or basement to reduce heat loss and save more on energy bills.
□ Lay down rugs. Insulate cold flooring such as tile or hardwood, by laying down a stylish area rug. Your feet and pets will thank you.
□ Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat means you never need to remember to adjust your home's temperatures at night or when you're away. Used properly, it can reduce heating bills by up to 10 per cent per year.
□ Check the furnace. Clean or replace your furnace's air filter each month to increase heat circulation and reduce fuel costs. Do regular maintenance checks, clear away any flammables and call in a installer if there are any significant problems.
□ Prep the fireplace. Test the damper and clean the chimney to make sure the fireplace is ready for use. Remember to use a safety grate and all the necessary tools for worry-free fires.