Mobile Site / Find a Contractor / PHCC Store / Buyers' Guide / Request Information / FAQ / Contact Us
Cold Weather Tips for Your Home
Prevent Costly Plumbing Repairs
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas (basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets).
- Leave the cabinet doors under faucets open so that they can get more heat.
- Keep garage doors closed while shoveling driveways, as many garages have water heaters in them. Pipes freeze quickly with sub-zero temperatures.
- If it gets intensely cold, run a little bit of water from each valve in the house each day. Let the water trickle very slowly into the sink/tub.
- Set your water heater to 120°. Your water heater won’t have to work so hard if it’s set at a lower temperature. Plus, each time you lower the temperature by 10°F you’ll save 3-5% on your water heating costs.
Warm Your House Up … and Keep Costs Down
- Keep your thermostat set at 68°. Your heating system will operate less and use less energy. Turn your thermostat down 5° at night or when leaving your home for an hour or more to save up to $70 on energy costs each year. If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature settings automatically when you’re sleeping or away.
- Take advantage of sunlight. On south-facing windows, open up your curtains and blinds and allow the sun to help heat up the space.
- On the flip side, close window coverings in rooms that receive no direct sunlight to insulate from cold window drafts. On all windows, be sure to close window coverings to retain heat. Up to 15% of your heat can escape through unprotected windows.
- Replace your furnace or heat pump filter regularly. Dirty filters reduce airflow, making your equipment work harder and use more energy. Replace your furnace filter monthly (unless it is a high efficiency filter designed to last several months).
- Make sure your home is properly insulated, especially in the attic, on unfinished basement walls, and in crawlspaces. Insulating walls can be complex, so check with a contractor for advice. With properly installed insulation and a totally weatherized home, you can save up to 20% of your heating and cooling costs.
- Fireplaces can waste a lot of energy. When not in use, make sure the damper is closed and seals tightly to keep your heat (and your money) from going up the chimney.
- Make sure your duct system is tightly sealed. If heated air is escaping into your attic or crawl space, it’s not making it into your home. Also, if you have one heating system for two floors, be sure the airflow is balanced to give the desired temperatures to all areas. Or, consider installing a zone system so each floor is controlled independently for higher efficiency and consistent comfort and temperature on each floor.
- Use exhaust fans only when needed. Exhaust fans pull heated air out of the house at a rapid rate, requiring your heating system to work harder.
- Maintain your heating system. Regular maintenance (we recommend two services per year) helps keep your system running at peak efficiency and will prolong the life of the equipment.
- Consider upgrading to a new, high-efficiency system. An older, lower-efficiency system may be costing you more to run and repair than a new system.
For more information on how to hire a professional contractor, click on PHCC’s Find a Contractor referral service. Or, call our toll-free number, 800-533-7694.