Winter can bring a wide variety of challenges and issues for your home, both inside and out. While some problems are unavoidable depending on the severity of the winter season, there are still plenty of measures you can take to make sure your home is prepared to face winter head on.
Tips for Winterizing Your Home
By following a few simple steps every late fall, you can face the winter months with confidence, and even prevent some larger problems from developing in the first place.
Why Winterize Your Home?
Cold and below-freezing weather can not only be bothersome to deal with, it can take a toll on your home’s features, your heating system, and also your landscaping. It is hard to predict particular weather patterns during the winter, but doing your best to prepare your property will not only save you from inconvenience, it will save you money as well.
Here are a few easy tips to follow to ensure that your home makes it through the winter with minimal issues, if any.
Have an HVAC Professional Inspect Your Heating System
Your heating system has likely been dormant for months on end, and that is after enduring a winter season prior. An HVAC technician can come to your home and inspect the system for a number of problems, including the following:
- Carbon monoxide leaks
- Worn filters
- Gas piping
- Motors and fans
- Heating ducts
All of these components are essential for having a heating system running at full strength, while also being completely safe. A heating system functioning at full strength not only heats your home more efficiently and faster, it also saves you money on your heating bill.
Check your property for any tree branches that are hanging over your roof, windows, driveway, or any other structures such as a shed. Ice storms and ice accumulation can bring down even the thickest of branches, causing extensive damage to a number of items on your property. Any branches that could cause damage if they fall should be trimmed back or cut off altogether. It’s never worth the risk of leaving them up.
This is a trick that not many are even aware of. Every ceiling fan has a switch on it that will actually reverse the fan blade’s direction. Doing so will push warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down, circulating it throughout the room. This can warm a room more efficiently and help with cool spots in the room that a vent may not reach well enough.
Check for Air Leaks
This is a pretty big one. Cold drafts coming in through windows, doors, and anywhere else can create a never ending flow of cold air coming into your home. This is not only uncomfortable, it can make your heating system work twice as hard to regulate the temperature. Feel around with your hand in any potential leak areas, or use a thermal leak detector to identify leaks.
Once you have done so, use weather-proof caulking or stripping to seal the leaks off.
Cover Outside Hose Spigots
Garden hose spigots can crack and cause damage to piping if not properly winterized. Disconnect all garden hoses and place them in a garage or shed, and then make sure the spigots are fully drained and dry. Once you’ve done this, purchase some spigot covers to fully cover the spigot. This will give the spigot enough insulation to prevent freezing and leaking, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars and hassle.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This is huge. Wintertime often leads to using space heaters, wood furnaces, fireplaces, and more, increasing the risk of fire in your home, so make sure that your smoke detectors are fully functioning. Carbon monoxide leaks increase significantly in the winter months, and sometimes the only way to know if there’s a leak in your home is to rely on your carbon monoxide detector. Check those batteries.
Have an Emergency Kit Prepared
Winter weather can get particularly nasty at times, especially when there’s ice and high winds involved. It’s fairly common for some areas to experience power outages that last for several days, which is dangerous if you are stranded due to non-drivable roads.
Prepare an emergency kit at the beginning of winter that has enough food and water to last for at least 72 hours. This can include bottled water, canned food, extra blankets, batteries, flashlights, matches for your fireplace or wood furnace, and even a backup power supply if desired.
Bring on the Cold!
Winter is coming…and now you should know some basic winterizing steps to take for your home. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and every property is certainly different, so use a little common sense and critical assessment to see if there are any other steps that would benefit your unique living situation. Contact Dirt Connections for more information. Good luck!