6 Pro Tips to Winterize Your Home
With winter around the corner it is time to start thinking seriously about whether or not you are prepared.
Making sure your home is tied down for the cold weather not only improves your overall comfort, but it also keeps that pesky energy bill down.
There are a lot of best practices to be had when winterizing the house. Here are a few sure-fire methods to guarantee a healthy, happy and warm abode.
Apply these 6 tactics when winterizing your home this year.
There are lots of ways to properly insulate the house and doing so is well worth the project, trust us. Firstly, check where cold air is getting in. Big culprits are usually attics or around doors and windows. Once you have located the problem areas, install insulation foam or caulk where needed. Some additional advice is to install storm doors and door sweeps, as well as to make sure your metal pipes are being protected from the outside air. While there might be some up-front costs to these solutions, having an adequately insulated home will keep warm air in and cold air out, saving you more money over time.
Clean and Close the Fireplace
Another culprit of the cold air is the fireplace but keeping an active fireplace during the cold winter months is the perfect way to cozy-up after a long week. The problem is however that fire use over time builds up soot and debris. Another issue is that animals could have chosen to build nests in your chimney during the summer months. Before you start your fist fire of the season, make sure your chimney is clear. This will not only be safer for the family and possibly animals, but it will also allow your fire to operate more efficiently as more oxygen can reach the flames. Just remember that when you aren’t using the fireplace, close it off to avoid more of that pesky cold air from leaking in.
Trim the Trees
It can be a hassle, but before the weather gets cold and the lights go up, make sure your trees are properly pruned before the snow hits. Moisture and ice weakens branches, and large accumulations of snow during the winter can way down branches so much that they snap. This is particularly problematic if you have branches near or over the house. Save yourself the stress, property damage and money by trimming menacing looking limbs early.
Keep it Clean
You probably haven’t touched your heating system since last year, so there is going to be buildup in the vents. Before running your heat, clean out all the air vents and change the filter in your heating system. This keeps your house cleaner because less dust will be blown around, and your heating will operate more efficiently, once again working in your favor to keep costs down.
Gut the Gutters
Speaking of keeping it clean, the gutters are another place to pay attention to. Fall just hit, which means there are probably leaves in the gutters. It doesn’t take long, and a simple scoop through the gutters will prevent water dams from building up, causing those massive ice-sickles that can injure people or damage vehicles and windows.
Make the Move Indoors
Last stop is to bring things inside. Moisture and ice create considerable wear on your belongings. Moving grills, patio furniture, and outdoor pots and plants to safer locations will increase the longevity of some more expensive belongings (or keep plants from dying all-together). It sounds obvious but being proactive and checking these tasks off your to-do list before the snow comes is crucial to ensuring it actually gets done.
There is a lot to do before the cold comes, but this little chore list is one good way to get started. By taking the necessary preparations now and not later, you will be appropriately geared for the seasons ahead, not to mention safer, cleaner and cost-efficient.