Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the barren trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost every morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it isn’t too late. Use these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Home's Heating
Your furnace has been inactive all summer. To get it ready for another heating season, schedule a visit from a qualified technician to examine, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-effective way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape over the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Hire a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once a year. This service removes ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can cause chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in suitable condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you prepare to run your furnace in cold weather, look for and seal air leaks that allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to discover leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that could be leaky, like 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 distribute warm air down to the living space during the winter. For best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This method is best used in stairwells and rooms with tall ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
An additional way to winterize your home is to swap out delicate, summery window coverings for thicker, insulating drapes. Be sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun can warm your home for free. Then, pull the curtains after dark for added insulation against the frigid night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature falls, exposed pipes are in danger of 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 provides an added layer of protection in very cold climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances raises the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter. Exercise caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functioning. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, primarily near sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries every six months.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by getting a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option where you can adjust the settings remotely by using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, preventing melted snow from draining off the roof. Left unaddressed, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage things in the attic. Use these tips to deter ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can drain properly.
- Ventilate the attic to prevent heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further decrease heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork inside the attic.
- Make sure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outdoors, 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 applying salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer across the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Be sure to read the directions for proper application tips and any potential precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Wesley Wood Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Wesley Wood Service Experts. We offer excellent furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for winter. For more details about our services or to arrange an estimate, please contact your local Wesley Wood Service Experts office today.