The Portland winter storm season is coming and we want you to be prepared. Here’s a list of things you need to do to keep your family warm and cozy this winter.
As an added bonus, you’ll save money as many of these things save energy too.
Start with your windows
HLet’s start with some simple things you can do to save energy and money this winter season.
Did you know improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 % of your heating dollars?
If you have drafty windows, now is the time to fix them so that you aren’t losing heat all winter long. If your windows are old, you can call us for an estimate for replacement.
If you have insulated glass units that are foggy or have moisture inside the 2 panes, we can fix them without having to replace the entire window unit.
Give us a call about your window concerns. We guarantee to give you options and a fair price for solving your problem.
Leaks come from many places
Windows and doors aren’t the only things that leak. Every duct, wire or pipe that goes through your walls, ceilings or floors has the ability to leak and waste energy. This includes the duct work for your home’s heating system.
Plumbing vents can be especially bad as they often begin below the floor and travel up to the roof. Weather-stripping and caulk is your best friend for sealing up unwanted leaks.
It’s always a good idea to have a furnace tune-up in the fall (before cold weather arrives). You don’t want an unpleasant surprise when you turn it on for the first time and it doesn’t work. Also, change or clean the furnace filter once a year. Your furnace will last longer and run more efficiently as it works less hard when the filter is clean.
Check thermostat settings
Did you know it takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long?
If you have a programmable thermostat, one of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to turn down your thermostat at night and when you’re not at home.
Being smart about setting your thermostat can cut your heating costs more than 20%.
Close your fireplace damper
Of course your damper needs to be open when you have a fire burning but remember to close it when you don’t have a fire. When open, it’s like having a large open window in your house as warm air will be drawn out of the house and replaced with cold outside air. This is a tip that costs you nothing so make a point to do it.
Avoid costly water line breaks
Having a burst water pipe is never fun so make sure to cover your outside hose bibs with foam covers. They’re cheap, can be bought at any home supply store and take about 3 seconds to put on.
If there’s pipes in the crawlspace below your house, you’ll want to cover them with tubular pipe insulation sleeves. Lastly, if you have a sprinkler system, you’ll want to have in-ground pipes blown out so water won’t freeze in them.
Emergency kit for a power outage
While it’s never fun, you can minimize your discomfort by making your own emergency kit-just in case. Ideally, your kit should have a 3-day supply for all members of your household (pets too).
Your kit should contain the following:
- Batteries-several sizes for your flashlights, radio, etc.
- Flashlights-more than 1 is best and spare batteries too
- Candles-make sure you have matches or a lighter
- Plenty of warm clothes and blankets
- Battery-powered radio
- Non-perishable food items and can opener for canned foods
- Water-2 liters per adult per day plus extra for pets
- First aid kit
- Medicine and/or inhalers and prescription medicine for family
- Baby formula/food-if you have a baby
- Pet food/treats plus any medicines they may be taking
If always a good idea to keep your cell phone charged and put your emergency kit where it is readily available. Since you never know WHEN the power will go you, keep flashlights in several rooms of the house so that you aren’t stumbling in the dark to find one with the lights go out.
We hope this list helps you prepare your Portland home for possible stormy weather ahead. If you have any window-related concerns or problems, contact Sierra Glass in Hillsboro.
We give free estimates for window repairs/replacements (fixing foggy or leaky insulated glass window units are our specially) and service the entire Portland Oregon area.