5 Steps to Winterize Your Home
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As the temperature begins to drop, consider taking some time to winterize your home. In doing so, not only are you better prepared for the winter season, but you can also save on energy costs and prevent future damage to your house, saving you money in the long run. Here are five simple steps you can take to winterize your home this year.
Seal your home
Don’t let those brutal winds inside! Your home is your fortress against the cold, so make it as airtight as possible. Give your home a quick run-through, checking for visible and hidden drafts in the following areas.
- Vents and fans
- Plumbing areas
- Air conditioners
- Mail chutes
- Electrical and gas lines
Seal up all holes and reinforce existing points of entry with weather stripping. You can pick some up in your local hardware store.
Clean the guttersand inspect your roof
If your gutters are clogged, they can freeze up and block the drainage. Prevent ice dams and roof damage by clearing leaves and other debris from your gutter. You could also take proactive measures by installing a gutter guard. Additionally, be sure your roof is patched, and your attic is properly insulated. Your attic should be about 10 degrees warmer than outside.
Reverse your ceiling fans
Flick the reverse switch on your ceiling fans to make the blades spin in a clockwise direction instead of counterclockwise. This way, the fans will produce an updraft, which will push the rising hot air down so it can keep the entire room warm.
This is especially crucial in rooms that have high ceilings or are two stories high. You might find that putting your ceiling fans to work allows you to crank down the thermostat by a couple degrees to trim your energy bill this winter.
Protectthe pipes and check your heating system
Anytime the temperature drops below freezing, be sure to run all faucets in the house to prevent freezing, cracked pipes. In the case of kitchen and bathroom sinks, consider opening the cabinet doors so warmer air can reach the pipes. Additionally, wrap any exposed piping in foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to provide extra insulation. Chimneys, furnaces, and any other sort of HVAC-system should be serviced at least once a year. In very cold temperatures, it’s recommended to keep your heat on even when you are not home to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting. If anything needs repairs, tend to it now while it’s still warm out.
Clear the yard
Take a walk around your home’s exterior and inspect all trees and bushes near its facade. Look for low-hanging or loose branches that are close to your house. If you find any, prune them now so they don’t end up cracking from heavy snow or wind and causing damage to your home. You should also ensure that any outdoor grills or furniture are properly stored or covered.
With these five steps, you are well on your way to protecting your home in the winter. While there are many more steps you can take in the winterizing process, these five will set you on the right track to maximizing the long-term value on your home. If you plan to make renovations or repairs to your home, consider procuring a HELOC or home equity loan to fund your renovations.