10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Winter is finally here. You can tell by the leafless trees, early nights, and layer of frost every morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you still have time. Use these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.
1. Schedule Maintenance for Your Home's Heating
Your furnace has been inactive all summer. To prepare it for another heating season, arrange for a visit from a qualified technician to inspect, clean and tune up the equipment. The most affordable way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape through the years is to enroll in a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Hire a professional to evaluate and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once per year. This service removes ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can result in 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 start to run your furnace in cold weather, search for and seal air leaks that enable 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 up with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.
4. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans keep you cool in the summer, but they can also circulate warm air down to the living space over the winter. For the best results, set your fans on low and run them in reverse. This strategy is ideal for stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
Another way to winterize your home is to trade out delicate, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, close the curtains after dark for increased insulation against the cold night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature falls, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape under the insulation provides an extra layer of protection in very frigid 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, install CO detectors on every floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month and change the batteries twice a year.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by installing a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings fine-tune the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option that lets you modify the settings remotely using 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 appear along the eaves, stopping melted snow from melting off the roof. Left alone, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage things in the attic. Try these tips to prevent ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can flow like it's supposed to.
- Ventilate the attic to stop heat buildup that can melt snow from below.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop hot air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further restrict heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork inside the attic.
- Ensure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outdoors, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Close By
Slips and falls are notably common in cold winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer along the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Don't forget to read the directions for proper application tips and any potential precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Many winterization tips relate closely to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing equipment. If you need help winterizing your home, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare your home for winter weather. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.