10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the barren trees, early nights, and layer of frost each morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you still have time. Follow these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Home's Heating
Your furnace has been unused all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, arrange for a visit from a qualified technician to evaluate, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-effective way to keep your heating system in great shape over the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Hire a professional to evaluate and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also grants you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in good condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you prepare to run your furnace in cold weather, look for and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The quickest way to find leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick all around areas that might be leaky, including near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.
4. Keep Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans keep you cool during the summer, but they can also circulate warm air down to the living space in the winter. For best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This strategy is best used in stairwells and rooms with high ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
Another way to winterize your home is to swap out light, summery window coverings for heavy, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for added insulation against the cold night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature dips, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Install foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to minimize the risk. Electric heat tape beneath the insulation gives you an added layer of protection in particularly cold climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances elevates the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter. Use caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, put in CO detectors on every floor of your home, especially close to sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and swap out the batteries twice yearly.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You can save on heating bills this winter by installing a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at various times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a modern option that lets you modify the settings remotely with an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance recommendations.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, blocking melted snow from falling off the roof. Left alone, ice dams can allow water to reach under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Try these tips to deter ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to prevent heat buildup that can melt snow from underneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop heated air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further decrease heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork running through the attic.
- Confirm your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Handy
Slips and falls are notably common in freezing winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer on the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for correct application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning
Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing equipment. If you need help winterizing your home, call Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning. We offer quality furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing work, and other services to prepare the house for winter weather. For more details about our services or to arrange an estimate, please contact your local Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning office today.