WINTERIZING YOUR HOME TIPS/TRICKS
- FILL IN ANY CRACKS AND HOLES WITH CAULKING
Small holes and cracks can make you lose up to 25% of heat in your home. Start outside and check for gaps and holes in the siding and around doors, windows, faucets, electrical outlets, and vents. Fill hole and cracks with caulking.
- REPLACE THE WEATHER STRIPPING ON WINDOWS AND DOORS
Make sure doors and windows are airtight, tighten hinges and door knobs. Add felt, foam, or v-strip weather stripping to seal off and save on heating bills.
- INSULATE YOUR WINDOWS WITH SHRINK WRAP
Use shrink wrap or bubble wrap to insulate your windows. Simple kits can be purchased in home improvement stores.
- INSTALL STORM DOORS AND WINDOWS
Storm doors add extra layer of insulation and security to your home. Look for options that are Energy Star-Certified and ask about federal tax credits that may be available.
- SEAL OFF AN UNFINISHED BASEMENT
If you have an unfinished basement or being remodeled it can be a source of lost heat. Close heat registers, protect pipes from freezing, and seal off external doors and windows with plastic wrap.
- ADD INSULATION TO THE ATTIC AND CRAWLSPACE
It is recommended to have at least 12 inches of insulation in the attic for best results. It will help reduce the chance of ice dams forming on your roof and causing serious damage. Avoid insulation that has paper backing, as this can cause unwanted moisture.
- HAVE THE HEATING DUCTS SERVICED
Pre-winter maintenance should include a thorough duct cleaning and repairs to any seams. Having someone come check your system is a great way to save money on emergency calls or system failures in the future. Plus increases efficiency, allowing your thermostat to temperature while still staying warm.
- CHANGE YOUR HVACK FURANCE FILTER
Replacing your filters every three months and having annual inspections with a certified technician can increase your furnace’s efficiency.
- COVER YOUR CENTRAL AIR AND REMOVE WINDOW AIR CONDITIONERS
Thoroughly drain pipes or hoses, vacuum water out of the drainage pans and clean cooling coils. This will help prevent any ice to form that can damage your system. Also removing your window AC units will help prevent drafts.
- SWEEP THE CHIMNEY
Important to have a professional sweep the chimney to remove any debris. If you have a gas fireplace it can be checked the same time as your furnace.
- GET SMART WITH YOUR THERMOSTAT
One can turn down your heat while you are away for the day but it can be difficult to bare once you come home. Invest in a programmable thermostat. It can save you up to 10% on heating and cooling each year by changing your home 10-15 degrees for 8 hours each day.
- CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS
Have all your fans rotating clockwise to help push the heat back down.
- DRAIN EXTERIOR FAUCETS AND SPRINKLERS
Bursting pipes are caused by water freezing and expanding them. To prevent this shut off your water and remove hoses or sprinklers. Open up the faucets to allow them to drain. During winter months keep the faucet on to prevent any water from being held inside.
- WRAP COLD PIPES WITH INSULATION
Living in your home in winter you will not need to worry about this, it is a good idea to check your attic and basement for pipes that might be more susceptible to freezing.
- MAINTENANCE YOUR SUMP PUMP
If your home has a basement it may have a sump pump that needs to be winterized. Recommend you have a professional come out and check and prepare this for winter.
- TURN DOWN THE WATER HEATER AND COVER IT WITH A HEATING BLANKET
Did you know every 10 degrees you reduce your water heater temp you can save 3%-5% on your water heating bill? Most people don’t notice the difference between 130 degrees and 120 degrees.
- CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS AND INSTALL DE-ICER CABLES
Important to clear out gutters from dirt and debris that may have built up over the summer. Added weight can crack gutters and have water spill over the edge causing damage to windows and siding. Can add downspout extenders to keep water/ice away from the foundation. Add de-icer cab les to areas where ice damming may occur, like roof valleys, eaves, gutters, and downspouts.
- REPLACE ANY MISSING OR BROKEN SHINGLES
Patching damaged or missing shingles can save you hundreds of dollars on heating bills or more when it comes to avoiding future roof damage.
- STOCK UP ON QUALITY DRIVEWAY DE-ICER
De-icer and salt are standard go-to for melting slick driveways and sidewalks. Make sure to get ones that won’t damage concrete or asphalt surfaces.
- CLEAN THE YARD AND BRING IN ANY TOOLS AND TOYS
Toys, garden tools, and hoses will be hidden once it starts to snow and can accidently be stepped on while kids play or walk. Drain and store hoses and hang garden tools.
- CHECK YOUR SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Winter and gas appliances bring the increased risk of fire, so swap out batteries and test both devices regularly.
- INVEST IN A STANDBY GENERATOR
Some winters can be awful. If big storms shut down your electricity having a back up generator can save you up to $300 a day on re-purchasing groceries or paying for a hotel.
- PURCHASE A HUMIDIFIER FOR YOUR MAIN ROOMS
Humidifier will replace moisture that is lost during the dry winter months. Maintaining a humidity level of at least 43% can reduce the chance of airborne viruses from spreading.
24. PREPARE FOR SNOW WITH CLOTHES AND BOOTS
Snow and salt can ruin floors, use a mesh shoe or laundry storage holder near your entryway to help save your floors from damage of wet and salty boots and clothes.
- PREP YOUR HOME FOR YOUR WINTER VACATION
Decrease your thermostat to around 58 degrees and double check all pipes are properly insulated for the winter cold.
- OPEN CURTAINS ON THE SOUTH AND WEST SIDES BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR WORK
Simple way to naturally heat your home on sunny days is to make sure you open your blinds and curtains. If you do it before you leave in the morning to get a little extra warmth when you get home.
- DIY A DRDAFT SNAKE FOR THE BOTTOM OF DOORS
You can roll an old towel up to place in front of your door or sew a draft snake in a fun print to brighten up your home. You can add sand or kitty litter to help add extra weight to keep it in place.