Winterizing your home saves both energy and money during the cold months. Most importantly, it will help you stay warm inside your home in the winter! Luckily, there are some stress-free methods to help you winterize your home.
Continue reading to learn more about how to winterize your house to keep you and your family safe from the winter elements.
Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
One should begin preparing for winter as the days become shorter and the temperatures drop. Winterizing your house is a low-cost and straightforward approach for remaining warm during the winter.
The top areas of your home that might lose heat during the winter months are places where there are small openings to the outdoors like windows, doors, basements, attics, fireplaces, and crawlspaces. Cold drafts can find their way inside if these cracks are not sealed.
Creating a To-Do List Before the First Frost
Before the first winter storm hits, create a to-do list to ensure your home is ready to protect your family from the cold winter months.
Try to personalize your list to include things that must be checked around your house. Items to incorporate in the list include:
Preparing the Outside of Your Home for Winter
Preparing the outside of your home for the winter cold can help preserve the amount of heat you retain within your home.
Before the first frost of the year, give your house a once-over and take care of any winter preparation activities or repairs. Preparing your home’s exterior for the harsh winds, snow, and ice is essential for keeping winter at bay while keeping it warm and comfortable inside.
You’ll save money on energy costs, improve the efficiency and lifetime of your home’s components, and make your property safer by being proactive.
Keeping Your Gutters Clean
Autumn leaves can accumulate and clog water in place, so cleaning gutters before winter arrives can protect you from built-up obstructions. Blockages in your gutters can cost a lot of money to fix. Leaves and debris must be removed to allow the water to flow freely through them.
When winter arrives, that standing water in the gutter will freeze, causing additional water to accumulate and freeze.
If you have numerous foliage trees on your property, you should try to clean out your gutters multiple times a year. This will minimize blockages year-round in your downspouts.
However, emptying them before the first frost is a crucial first step in winterizing your home.
If your gutters seem to be fast filling up with dirt, consider adding leaf guards to keep them cleaner for longer.
Assessing Your Home’s Roof
Roof care should be done before the cold weather arrives, and it’s essential for winterizing your home’s exterior. A visual check is the best approach to assessing your roof’s integrity.
Look for areas of the roof where the shingles are cracked, bending, or missing entirely.
Check for loose screws and corroded panels to discover any possible leaks in the works.
Safeguard Your Wooden Deck
Ensure your deck is in good shape before you start decking the halls. First, sweep your deck to remove any fallen leaves, dirt, or trash. If your deck has not had a fresh coat of sealer for a while, sealing your deck before winter will help maintain its quality for the following summer.
You may cover your wood by laying down a large tarp or shoveling snow with a plastic shovel. Maintaining your deck throughout the year can also help it last longer.
Sprinklers Should Be Flushed to Protect Them from Freezing
Pay extra attention to water sources as you winterize your property. For example, if you have a sprinkler system in your yard, turn it off before the ground freezes. Frozen pipes can be dangerous and extremely expensive to fix if they burst.
You should also cleanse any remaining water from the pipes. To achieve this effectively, turn on the system, open the manual valve, or use a compressor to blast the leftover water out of the system.
Examine Your Snowblower
Don’t put off getting your snow removal equipment until the weather becomes stormy and snow is on the ground.
If you haven’t used your snowblower since last season, you should replace the spark plug, motor oil, and air filter before starting it.
After completing the essential maintenance, turn on your blower to ensure everything is working correctly. Next, lubricate the chute, levers, and connections throughout the machine to ensure that everything turns smoothly when removing snow.
Plants, Furniture, and Grills Should Be Brought Indoors
Take inventory of all your outside items and plants before the cold winter arrives. Debug your plants and move them inside before the first cold to avoid harm. All outdoor furniture should be cleaned and stored in your garage or shed.
While preparing for winter, you should also clean and store any summer yard equipment. For example, disconnect your garden hose from your faucet and keep it away.
Scrape any grass caked onto the blades of your mower with a scraper. A putty knife or a wire brush might be used for this. It would help if you also changed the oil, air filter, and spark plug now, so you’re ready to mow when spring arrives.
Winterizing the Interior of Your House
One of the most critical ways to winterize your home is to save heating costs while efficiently blocking the frigid winter air. Caulk any window cracks and add weather stripping to your doors.
Ensure all your windows are locked to prevent drafts from entering.
If your window locks become a hassle to seal the windows, it may be time to replace your window entirely.
Make Sure Your Pipes Are Safe
Frozen pipes will likely form in unheated interior places like your garage, attic, or basement. Therefore, pipe insulation should be used generously on any exposed pipes in sensitive sections of your home.
Other measures to prevent your pipes from freezing include keeping your garage door closed as much as possible and not allowing your home’s temperature to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most common winter loss claim is frozen pipes. Ice dams and space heater fires also cause a lot of water damage.
Your standard home policy covers these unexpected and unintentional damages, but make sure to check with your insurance provider to verify what sorts of winter damages are covered so you can be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Check the Fireplace Flue and Clean Your Chimney
Santa does not wish to descend a filthy chimney. However, getting your chimney cleaned and inspected is an essential winterization checklist item for fire safety. When winterizing the interior of your home, hire a professional inspector to assess your chimney.
When your flue is closed, an inspector will check for any accumulation that occurred during the off-seasons and test it for a tight seal.
Replace the Filter and Test Your Heating System
Furnace filters should be changed once every four months. However, some experts advocate changing them once a month.
Please make an appointment for an HVAC specialist to come out and examine the furnace to ensure that it is in working order. The professionals should clean the furnace and change the filter for you during their inspection.
Your Water Heater Should Be Covered to Limit Heat Loss
You may buy a water heater insulating blanket to keep your hot water heater from losing heat as rapidly. This will cost you around $20-25 at your local home improvement store and help you save money on your heating bills.
Install a Thermostat That Can Be Programmed
According to Energy Star, adopting a smart or programmable thermostat saves the typical customer more than 8% of their heating and cooling energy, equating to around $50 per year. Emerson and Honeywell produce multiple types of programmable thermostats.
These modern thermostats also allow you to modify your home’s temperature according to your unique tastes.
In addition, many companies include a phone app that will enable you to regulate your thermostat from the comfort of anywhere.
Replace and Test the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors
Winter is the ideal time to turn up the heat, build a fire, and prepare a pot of soup. However, when you’re relaxing in your own house, keep in mind that winter is the peak season for fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Replace any dead batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to ensure optimal operation.
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