Fall’s here, and your comfortable, safe home awaits
By Stephanie Swanson
After what seemed like an endless, hot summer, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief as temperatures are finally dropping—winter is just around the corner! But before the cold sets in for good, fall is the perfect time to take some easy steps to make your home cozier, healthier and safe for this winter and beyond.
Watch your windows. Did you know your windows can help keep your home warm in the winter? Take advantage of the winter sun’s heat by opening south-facing curtains, drapes and blinds during the day, and then closing window coverings at night to keep the heat in. If you don’t have blinds or shades, consider installing them to reduce heat loss (they’ll also help keep your house cool next summer).
Lower the dial and get cozy. Keep your home 10 to 15 degrees cooler when you are not at home, and lower the temperature slightly at night to save energy. Nothing’s cozier than bundling up with blankets on a winter night!
Breathe easy. Many homes trap allergens and pollutants, which affect indoor air quality and can seriously impact the whole family. Checking for radon and installing a carbon monoxide detector are two simple steps that will help everyone breathe more easily.
Get prepared. Back to school is a great time to take stock of emergency preparedness plans and supplies. It’s also a good time to ensure your home is prepared for what may come. Seismic “hardening” of your home helps keep your home secured during severe storms, high winds and earthquakes. It’s also a necessary first step if you’re looking to get earthquake insurance.
For more information about how to improve the comfort, health and safety of your home, visit Enhabit.org/neighborhood and take a quick online quiz. If you so choose, you can access other resources including free services or financing for efficiency improvements and even seismic retrofits.