Winterizing your home: Tips to save money and prevent breakdowns

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Cooler temperatures, shorter days, and yellowing of the aspens – all signs that it’s fall in the Black Hills. And that means winter isn’t too far away.

While the weather is still comfortably cool, now is the time to make sure that your home is ready for all of the stresses that a Black Hills winter can throw.

“Properly preparing your home now will help save money during the wintertime,” said Don Martinez, energy services engineer at Black Hills Energy. “You’re talking about $5, $10, maybe $15 a month, and that will add up.”

Here are a few simple things you can do to get your home ready for the winter:

  • Check the seals around your doors and windows. If they are in poor condition and not sealing properly, install a weatherstripping material or new door sweeps.
  • Replace your furnace filter. Dirty filters force the furnace to work harder and less efficiently, which costs you money.
  • Have your furnace and water heater tuned up by a qualified technician to reduce the risk of breakdown during a cold snap.
  • Check the exterior of your home for any cracks or holes, especially around outdoor electrical outlets and spigots. Plug any holes with caulk or foam.
  • Make sure the water is turned off to all spigots and open the spigot valves.
  • Clean the gutters and leaders to prevent buildup of water and ice near roof eaves.
  • Move snow shovels and supplies of rock salt near doors.

“In preparing for the winter, now is the time to do it, because you can get many of these things done before it gets very cold,” said Martinez.

If you anticipate having trouble paying your energy bills this winter, contact your utility provider. Many utility companies have programs in place to help those in need like DSS.

Following these simple steps will help make sure your home and heating equipment are prepared for the onslaught of winter.

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