DENVER – As winter approaches and temperatures continue to drop in Colorado, it’s important to be sure your home is winterized to be sure you aren’t wasting money on electricity and heating.
During freezing temperatures, pipes can freeze and burst, so be sure your pipes are wrapped with insulation to be sure they don’t freeze. Newspaper and plastic are also acceptable alternatives if you can’t splurge for pipe insulation.
Another tip to keep your pipes from freezing is allowing your faucets to drip ever-so-slightly.
The constant movement of water through pipes will make it harder for the water to freeze. And while you might see a slight uptick on your water bill, it will be much cheaper than replacing your pipes.
Another thing that can cost you money in the winter is warm air escaping out of cracks and fissures in your windows, walls and foundation.
The easiest fix is to get winter-ready plastic sheeting that can go over your windows and keep the heat in.
Caulking and sealing any visible cracks on inner and outer walls will also keep warm air from escaping and making your heater work overtime.
A space heater is a must-have if your apartment or house doesn’t get too warm or if you want to keep your gas bill down.
There are several different types of various sizes that can heat rooms or your entire apartment.
But it’s important to get one that has an automatic shut-off switch or tip-over kill-switch that will turn the heater off automatically if it overheats or falls over. Older heaters that don’t have such switches have caused numerous fires.
And if you’re using a space heater, be sure your carbon monoxide detector is working. While many operate off electricity and don’t generate CO, some do produce the noxious gas that can poison or even kill you and your pets.
The Department of Energy offers home energy audits that can identify weak spots in your home where heat can escape. They also offer tips for people looking to hire contractors to winterize their homes, as well as home weatherization assistance for low-income homeowners and renters.