2011-09-01 / Local & State

Prepare Your Home For Cooler Weather

There’s nothing worse than being in a drafty house during the cooler months of the year. In addition to the continuous discomfort, drafts can lead to unnecessarily high heating bills.

“American homeowners know that as the weather gets cooler, it’s time to prepare their homes for the season,” says Robert Dischner, marketing director at Lennox Hearth Products. “Preparing your home will not only save you money, but keep your family safe during severe weather.”

In fact, heating and cooling accounts for two thirds of a home’s energy consumption. This adds up to 44 percent of all the carbon dioxide emissions in America, more than the transportation and manufacturing industries combined, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Here are some tips to prepare your home for the cooler weather this season:

Conduct an annual review. Windows are best sealed using weather-stripping or caulking. Doors should be replaced if they don’t seal properly. Make sure to check the foot of the door and install a draft stopper if there isn’t one. You should also have a heating professional check your heating system annually, making sure it’s energy-efficient and meets all safety standards.

Clean out your chimney. Annual cleanings reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys. They also let your fireplace burn more efficiently.

Green your fireplace. If you have an existing masonry or metal fireplace, gasburning fireplace inserts offer high efficiency levels that can help heat homes in a more cost-effective manner, offering convenient and clean-burning performance that reduces harmful pollution. For example, Lennox Hearth’s Shoreline fireplace insert fits into almost any traditional fireplace opening and instantly transforms it into a warm and entertaining centerpiece. More information is available at www.lennoxhearthproducts.com.

Check emergency supplies. Buy rock salt or sand before it sells out at your local hardware store. Make sure you change the batteries in any and all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors at least once a year. And stock your pantry with dry goods and other sundries, in case you’re forced to spend a day or two indoors because of inclement weather.

“By preparing your home, you can keep more heat inside, and less energy is lost through the chimney, doors and other openings, keeping overall environmental emissions to a minimum,” says Dischner.

So, it turns out, you can stay warm, save money, and be good to the planet all at the same time!

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