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Colorado isn’t quite the snowy winter wonderland many imagine it to be, but we do have at least a few weeks of below freezing days and a few months when a poorly prepared home can be truly uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. Here are seven things you can do this fall to prepare your home for winter that will make you and your family happier and healthier.

These are all fairly simple and affordable things you can do on your own to make your Colorado home safer and more comfortable this winter.

  1. Reverse the ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are great at circulating the air and cooling a room in the summer, but many people don’t realize they can also help you circulate heat. If you reverse the fans, they will push warm air down into your living space.

  1. Check and replace weather stripping

Make sure the weather stripping around your windows and doors is in good shape and replace it if it’s not. Add weather stripping to drafty windows and doors where there is none.

  1. Check your heating ducts

Look for holes or leaks in your heating ducts and plug or seal them to prevent your heat from flowing where it shouldn’t and possibly causing damage.

  1. Change your furnace filter

You should change most furnace filters once every three to six months. Make sure you start the winter with a fresh and clean filter so your furnace will operate as efficiently as possible. Disposable filters are relatively affordable.

  1. Use storm windows if you have them

Storm windows tend to be those dusty, rusty old metal-framed things on the side of the house or down in the basement. Clean them off and install them. You might have to do a little work finding the right windows for them, but it’s worth it. They prevent heat from escaping through single-pane or older windows.

  1. Caulk leaks

Look for places around your window sills, door jams and case boards where warm air is escaping and cool air is getting in. A little caulking can go a long way toward reducing your winter utility bill.

  1. Check the chimney

If your fireplace is drafty, it could mean the damper is warped or damaged. If you don’t use your fireplace, consider installing a chimney balloon that will seal it and prevent drafts.

These are just a few of the many inexpensive and easy things you can do yourself this fall to prepare your home for winter.

If these tricks don’t do enough to make you comfortable and reduce your utility bills, you don’t have to suffer through the cold Colorado winter on your own. Contact the Energy Resource Center. We provide free energy efficiency upgrades to income-qualified families throughout much of Colorado, including the Denver area, the San Luis Valley and the Pikes Peak Region.

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