By Senator Patty Ritchie
As summer turns to fall, across our region we’re all getting ready for cooler weather.
This week, as temperatures in most areas dipped into the 30s, many of us took the chill out of the air by turning up our thermostats or lighting our fireplaces.
As temperatures continue to drop, a little planning now will pay off in the longrun.
As you make your “winter readiness” checklist, be sure to keep the following in mind:
Have your heating system checked: Don’t wait until the first freezing day of the year to have your heating system tuned up. By having an expert inspect your heating system, you can ensure its clean and in good condition to run smoothly through the duration of our colder months.
Not only that, it can also save you cash, as it’s estimated that a properly running heating system can result in an 11 percent reduction in energy usage.
Protect your pipes: Prevent bursting and freezing by making sure all pipes in your home, especially those that are in unheated areas, are properly insulated. Also, make sure you know where your home’s water shut-off valves are located so you can quickly turn your water supply off in the event of a leak.
Change up your ceiling fans: Did you know your ceiling fan could help you keep the thermostat lower? If you have a ceiling fan with a reverse switch, turn it to allow the blades to rotate in a clockwise direction after turning on your heat. The motion will result in an updraft that will allow heated air, which rises, to be pushed downward into the room where the fan is.
Tackle your outdoor to-do list: The inside of your home isn’t the only place that needs to be prepped for winter. Cleaning out gutters, repairing roof leaks, removing tree branches that could be weighted down with snow and ice, and disconnecting and draining all outside hoses should all be on your outdoor cold weather checklist.
These are just a few steps you can take now to prepare for colder weather.
For more tips on how you can protect your home and cut energy costs, I invite you to visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov