As the temperatures start to drop it's time to prepare your home for the winter. Winterizing your home is not just about staying warm; it's also about energy efficiency, saving money and preventing potential damage. In this guide, we'll take you through 10 tips to ensure your home is ready to face the cold, wet and sometimes snowy months ahead.
1. Seal the Leaks
One of the most effective ways to keep the cold out and the warmth in is by sealing any drafts or leaks in your home. Check for gaps around windows and doors, and apply weatherstripping or caulk as needed. Don't forget to inspect the areas around electrical outlets, pipes, and vents as well.
2. Top up Your Attic Insulation
Excessive heat escaping through your attic can lead to the cyclical melting and refreezing of snow on your roof, resulting in the formation of a substantial ice dam capable of causing significant damage. To remedy this, consider augmenting your attic insulation. Begin by gauging the insulation depth and if the levels measure less than 4 inches, it indicates a need to top up your attic insulation.
3. Check and Maintain Your Heating Systems
Your heating systems will be working hard during the winter, so it's essential to ensure it's in top condition. Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your HVAC system. Replace filters regularly, and if you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned to prevent chimney fires.
4. Clean Dryer Ducts
Over time, lint can accumulate in your dryer ducts, posing a fire hazard and reducing the efficiency of your dryer. Clean out the lint trap after each use, and periodically disconnect the dryer vent to remove built-up lint. This not only improves safety but also helps your dryer run more efficiently.
5. Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Consider using pipe insulation or heating tape for added protection. On extremely cold nights, let faucets drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
6. Prepare Your Windows
Ensuring a tight seal by caulking gaps and cracks around your windows and doors is crucial for maintaining a warm home and reducing energy consumption during the winter. Apply caulking to any gaps wider than the width of a nickel between your siding and window or door frames
7. Inspect Your Roof
Snow and ice can put a strain on your roof, so it's crucial to inspect it before winter sets in. Check for loose or damaged shingles, and repair any issues promptly. Clean out gutters to prevent ice dams, which can lead to water damage.
8. Prepare Your Outdoor Spaces
Winterize your outdoor spaces by storing or covering patio furniture, draining garden hoses, and shutting off exterior water sources. If you have hose bibs, use a cover for the winter. Trim overhanging branches to prevent damage from heavy snow and ice.
9. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programming your thermostat to lower at a certain time of night and to warm up in the morning before you wake can lead to significant energy savings over the winter months. Sleep experts say that a temperature between 16 and 18 degrees at night also makes it easier to fall asleep and stay alseep!
10. Emergency Preparedness
Finally, make sure you're prepared for any winter emergencies. Stock up on essential supplies, such as non-perishable food, water, and emergency heating sources. Consider having a backup power source, such as a generator, in case of power outages.
Stay Warm, Stay Safe and Protect your Asset!
Selena & Steve
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