Gosh, where did the summer go? It’s hard to believe that the kids are back in school and summer is almost gone. The warm weather and trips to the shore will soon be a thing of the past. I guess that’s one side of the coin. The other side is that cooler weather and snow could be just around the corner. There has been a lot of discussion about protecting ourselves from the sun, water quality, and other summer time subjects, but let’s not forget to prepare ourselves for the winter time too!
Sun protection should still be a priority (especially in areas with lots of snow to reflect the sun’s rays), but the next several weeks would be a great time to focus on making some changes around your home to prepare for “Old Man Winter”. Do you have a drafty window or two, maybe water pipes in a crawl space that could use some extra insulation, or how about that maintenance to the furnace or heat pump to get ready for those cold winter nights? These are just a couple of the things I’ve had to do to make my home more comfortable in the past year or two. The weeks between the end of summer and the beginning of winter are a perfect time to make these changes.
Being proactive to prevent problems from arising instead of having to react when a problem occurs could save you not only time and money, but energy too! If you are a do-it-yourselfer, the climate is much more cooperative for doing this kind of work. If you rely on others for taking care of these kind of repairs, I’d venture to say you could probably get a better price and a scheduled appointment rather than having to wait for someone to “squeeze you in” and then pay premium prices to get that warm air flowing through your home again.
Check out some of EPA’s Energy Star resources to learn about sealing and insulating and get some answers to questions you might have about other Energy Star topics to prepare your home for the winter months. What improvements have you made that have really made a difference in your home? Oh, and by the way, button up, this may be a cold one!!
About the author: Kelly Chick has worked for the EPA for many years. She currently works in the Office of Public Affairs at EPA Headquarters, and manages the EPA blog, Greenversations.