Winterize Your Home
With the New Year right around the corner, now’s the time to prepare your home for winter. Before the cold temperatures, snow, sleet, and wind set in, you’ll want to tackle some winterizing projects.
Winterizing not only keeps your home comfortable and cozy all winter long, it can save energy and slash your heating costs.
Here are some of the top projects that you’ll want to tackle before the first frost.
1.Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make for your home. These thermostats allow you to set a schedule for when your HVAC system runs so that it best fits your lifestyle.
For instance, you can set the thermostat to turn on the heat at a set time each morning. This way when everyone is waking up, the home can be warm and cozy. And then once everyone leaves, the heat can be lowered.
You can then program the thermostat to turn back on before everyone gets back home. Programmable thermostats also offer:
Weekend and vacation settings
Voice and phone programming
Being able to control your home’s HVAC system from anywhere is simple, convenient, and allows you to keep your home winter-ready with the tap of a button.
2. Insulate your attic
Insulation is in many places throughout your home, including the walls and floors. But did you also know that insulation is most effective when it’s in the attic? The problem is that most homes have not enough or no insulation in the attic.
According to the EPA, attics should have R-38 insulation at a minimum. This insulation is 10 to 14 inches deep and helps to prevent heated air from flowing into the attic. It’s also important to caulk pipes, ducts, and holes.
A properly sealed attic can work wonders during the winter.
3. Install new windows
Old single-pane windows are known to be drafty. Before winter rolls around, it’s important to replace old glass with insulated-glass. These windows are made with thicker glass which provides an extra layer of protection against the weather outside.
No matter what’s going on outside, you can have peace of mind that your home is comfortable.
4. Replace door weather stripping
Another important part of winterizing your home is to check the weather stripping around the exterior doors. Make sure that the weather stripping isn’t ripped, crushed, or damaged in any way.
If the weather stripping is in good shape, the next step is to check air-leaking gaps. Pay close attention to the four edges of the door and then peek underneath. If sunlight shines through at the bottom, a door sweep needs to be installed or the threshold needs to be raised.
A great way to detect drafts is to take a match near the door. If you notice the slightest breeze, air is leaking in.
5. Insulate hot water pipes
Insulting hot water pipes is an effective way to reduce heat loss while also saving energy. Insulation helps to keep the water inside of the pipes hot. This reduces the amount of work that the hot water heater has to do each time warm water is used.
There are various forms of pipe insulation, including insulated wraps and foam-rubber sleeves. Insulated wraps are wound around the pipe and sleeves are simply slipped on.
6. Change air filter
During winter, your air filter should be changed every two months. A dirty, clogged filter reduces the efficiency of the furnace and will impede airflow. This means the system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
Save money by switching to a reusable electrostatic model instead of a cheap reusable one. Late fall is also a great time to have your HVAC system tuned and prepped for the cold weather to come.
7. Reverse the ceiling fans
Ceiling fans provide great relief from hot temperatures during the warmer months. However, they’re also beneficial during fall and winter. Most fans have a switch that reverses the fan-blade rotation.
In the summer, the blades should rotate counterclockwise. This pushes cool air down. But in the winter, the blade rotation should be reversed so that warm air trapped at the ceiling is pushed down into the room.
8. Prep your roof
Your home’s roof is the first line of defense against the elements. Snow, ice, rain, and wind are some of the main concerns for your roof. Get a head start on winterizing your home’s exterior by:
Inspecting the roof for broken, curled, or missing shingles. It’s also important to look for damaged flashing and clogged valleys.
Clear any debris, including leaves, dirt, and pine needles
Install snow guards
Check the attic for water leakage and check for mold and mildew
9. Clean your gutters
One of the most important parts of winterizing your home is to tackle any gutter issues before snow and ice arrive. After the last leaves have fallen, schedule an appointment to have your gutters cleaned. This way all leaves and other debris can be removed.
Clean gutters work more efficiently, which means that melting snow can properly drain. If your drains are clogged, they won’t work as well and there’s a risk of snow piling up on your home’s roof.
Don’t want to schedule gutter cleanings? Have gutter guards installed, which keep out all types of debris. Gutter guards just need to be brushed off, which is a less strenuous task than gutter cleanings.
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