“With energy costs on the rise, winterizing a home makes good economic sense,” says Beverly Baskin, of the Better Business Bureau. “A small up-front investment can pay dividends for months by increasing the energy efficiency of a house and reducing overall heating costs.”
According to the Energy Information Administration, a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating costs this winter are expected to rise by 23 percent for homeowners who rely on heating oil, 18 percent for homes relying on natural gas and 10-11 percent for homes heated by propane or electricity. Luckily, homeowners can fend off some of the rising energy costs by winterizing their home before the harshest weather takes hold.
Below is the BBB home winterizing checklist for consumers to consult when preparing for the cold months ahead:
Furnace. Furnaces older than 15 years might be due for a replacement. For younger furnaces, BBB recommends making sure the furnace filter is clean, the thermostat is working properly and the pilot light is functioning. Homeowners can also hire an inspector to do the job and make sure the furnace is in safe working order.