The chilly weather is already upon us, and whether you like it or not, winter is coming. While you have probably already packed away your summer clothes and started preparing for the holidays, there are other things you need to do to get ready for the cold months ahead.
As a homeowner, you know that winter can be rough on your home. From the snow and ice to the freezing temperatures, you must take the time to properly prepare your house for the elements. It is one of the fundamental ways to ensure that you enjoy a comfortable and pleasant winter.
No one wants to come home to a drafty house or spend their winter months in an unheated room. As such, you should have a functional heating and cooling system, take care of your windows and doors and protect your pipes, among other things.
Here are some essential tips on winterizing your home.
Inspect and Maintain Your Heating System
Your heating system is one of the most important parts of your home, and you need to ensure it is in good working condition before the winter months set in.
Have a professional inspect and tune up your furnace or heat pump to ensure it is operating efficiently. Doing this will help prolong its life and prevent any unexpected breakdowns during the winter.
You should also clean or replace your furnace filters on a regular basis. Dirty filters can impede airflow and make your furnace work harder than it needs to. As a result, it will use more energy and end up costing you more money.
Additionally, check if your vents and ducts are clear of debris or obstructions so they can distribute heat evenly throughout your home.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can be an excellent investment, especially if you want to save money on your energy bills.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set your home’s temperature according to your schedule. For example, you can lower the temperature when you are not home or at night when you are asleep. This way, you prevent wasting energy heating an empty house.
In addition, a programmable thermostat can also keep your home more comfortable as you can set it to reach the desired temperature before you arrive home or wake up in the morning.
Seal and Insulate Your Home
One of the best ways to winterize your home is to seal and insulate it.
Start by checking for any air leaks around your windows and doors. Caulk and weather-strip any gaps to prevent cold air from coming in and warm air from escaping. Doing so will not only make your home more comfortable, but it will also help you save money on your energy bills.
Check if your attic is properly insulated as well. It will help to keep your home warmer and prevent any heat loss.
Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems homeowners face during the winter. When water freezes, it expands and puts pressure on your pipes, which can cause them to crack or burst. It can lead to costly repairs and extensive water damage.
To prevent your pipes from freezing, insulate them with pipe insulation or electrical heating tape. On top of that, seal any cracks or holes in your exterior walls to keep cold air from seeping in and causing your pipes to freeze.
Alternatively, you can let your faucets drip a little during cold weather. This simple trick will help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting.
Finally, make sure that you know where your main water shut-off valve is located. This knowledge will come in handy if your pipes freeze and burst, as you will be able to shut off the water and minimize the damage.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts play an important role in protecting your home from water damage.
During the winter, snow and ice can accumulate in your gutters and downspouts, which can cause them to become clogged. When this happens, water cannot correctly drain away from your home, and it can seep into your basement or crawlspace, leading to flooding.
To prevent this from happening, clean your gutters and downspouts regularly. You should also ensure they are free of debris or obstructions.
If you have the money, consider installing gutter guards to keep leaves and debris out of your gutters. It will reduce the amount of maintenance that you need to do and prevent any water damage.
The Bottom Line
Winterizing your home is essential to keeping it comfortable and enjoyable during the colder months. Start by inspecting and maintaining your heating system, sealing and insulating your home, and protecting your pipes. You should also clean your gutters and downspouts and invest in a programmable thermostat.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent any problems and ensure that your home is ready for winter. This is the only way to fully enjoy the season without worrying about costly repairs.