I haven’t turned on the furnace yet, but believe me—I’ve thought about it. This time of year is unique because it reminds of how relative temperature can be. A 50 degree day in October can feel like the South Pole, but a 50 degree day in January would have me dusting off the golf clubs. So, before it gets to be winter-coat-weather all the time, it makes sense to make sure your home is prepared for the winter.
Many homes now have programmable thermostats that allow you to designate home climates for different parts of the day. By using a programmable thermostat, you can save around $180 dollars a year, so it makes it a no-brainer investment (You can find them for as little as $25 from Amazon. EnergyStar.gov has some effective guidelines for setting temperatures for different parts of the day.
You should also make it as easy on your heating system as possible. Grab a tube of caulk and give your house a walk around, making sure windows and doors are sealed properly. Don’t forget about where your satellite or cable feeds into your home, as well as dryer vents, phone lines and water hoses. It’s also not a bad idea to evaluate the insulation in the attic. Better insulation in the attic is always a good investment because it makes it easier on your heating and cooling system to moderate the temperature of your home—saving energy and money.
So do yourself a favor and get out while you can without the coat and gloves. Programmable thermostats will go a long way to save energy and money, but make it easy on your system by sealing up leaks and drafts.