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Fan Direction & Other Frequently Missed Winterization Tips

Getting a home ready for winter is an annual fall event for most homeowners. The big items typically come to mind for most people interested in improving energy efficiency and lowing utility bills. Upgrading insulation, adding more caulk and replacing windows are all important considerations when preparing for another winter season. But there are also less obvious items that homeowners overlook that are easy ways to cut costs and improve home energy efficiency and interior environmental comfort. Here are few of the often missed items that are easy for homeowners to handle:

Ceiling Fan Direction

ceiling fan direction switch
That switch on the side of almost every ceiling fan is important.  It changes the direction of blade rotation.  Check to make sure it is set on all fans to turn clockwise during colder months. This forces the air up and circulates warmer air back into the room. Set the fan to low speed so it just circulates warmer air that rises to the ceiling creating a gentle updraft. As always, keep in mind ceiling fans should be turned off when no one is in the room. They condition people not spaces.  Find more info on ceiling fans at



Clean Heat Pump Condenser

Most homes in more southerly climates and even many newer homes in the north have heat pumps. Keeping the condenser unit clean greatly increases the efficiency and lifespan of a heat pump. This can be hired out to an A/C repair professional but it is also an easy DIY job for homeowners. It typically only requires a screw driver, shop vac and a little know how. Tips and instructions are available on line from many sources. Here is a good one on the EHow Website.  This task should be added to the spring cleaning list as well.

Hire A Chimney Sweep

Chim Chimery, Chim Chimery. Everyone remembers the lovable Dick Van Dyke character from Mary Poppins. But today’s professional chimney sweeps are an essential part of the team for homeowners who use wood-burning fireplaces. Fireplaces and chimneys that have leaks are less efficient for heating a home. Build up of soot and creosote can also be a fire hazard. Good fireplace maintenance practices will improve heating efficiency, keep a home safer and extend the life of the fireplace and chimney. Learn more and find tips on hiring a chimney sweep at the Chimney Safety Institute of America website.

Insulate Windows With Energy Saving Curtains

Insulated curtains can be a very effective method of keeping rooms warmer. Like cellulose insulation, insulated curtains actually help control all four four major types of heat lose (learn more about these on the CIMA website.) Adding quality insulated curtains to help control heat lose is a much less expensive solution than replacing older or inefficient windows. They are available from many sources online or at many major retailers. Insulated curtains also help to keep homes cooler in the summer. And bonus: most also greatly reduce light for a better night’s sleep.

Inspect Attic Insulation

Attics are the one of the biggest areas of a home where heat loss can occur. One easy DIY step almost any homeowner can do in their winterization preparation is to visually inspect attic insulation. In most cases, if the insulation is below the tops of the rafters it is time to update. Find more information about what to look for when doing a visual inspection. If it is time to replace or update, cellulose insulation is the best choice overall for high efficiency and environmental benefits. Blowing cellulose insulation in attics can also be a DIY project for homeowners. Another option is for the homeowner to handle the important preparation and then hire a professional to install the insulation. (See an example of a similar project.)  Either way, improving attic insulation is a great way to reduce heating bills and offers one of the quickest returns on the investment of any major energy efficiency improvement.

Be sure to add these to your list of homeowner tasks every fall to be ready for the colder weather when winter arrives.

2014-11-03 18:01:27
Dan Lea says:

We didn't mention it in the winterization tips post, but the recent time change and a weatherization open house I attended brought it to my attention. Every time we change back and forth between standard time and daylight time we're reminded to change batteries in smoke detectors. There's another safety device that belongs in every home -- a carbon monoxide detector -- and its batteries should be changed along with smoke detector batteries. I was reminded of this at the weatherization open house, because one of the improvements made to the home was a new furnace. The old furnace was not only inefficient, but it had a cracked heat exchanger, which created a possible carbon monoxide hazard in the home. Fortunately the problem was found and fixed before anyone was hurt. Your furnace should be inspected by a qualified professional at regular intervals and a carbon monoxide detector can keep you safe between inspections.

2014-11-21 03:07:46
Michael says:

Great Tips, I read your all the tips and found it very interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing.

2016-04-16 11:41:29
Laura says:

Nice post!! Thanks for sharing this helpful info.

2016-06-03 05:40:11
Brain says:

That's really nice article and thanks for sharing the valuable information with us.

2016-10-14 22:02:52
Kevin Fan says:

Thanks for the post. Can you recommend how to choose a god ceiling fan?

Ps: i found a source at

2022-05-25 14:45:31
Include Attic Insulation On Spring Cleaning Checklist | Greenest Insulation Blog says:

[…] Redirect Ceiling Fans If you have followed other tips here on the blog then you likely switched direction of ceiling fans for the winter. Be sure to switch all ceiling […]