Winterizing Your Home
It’s getting cold, which means it’s time to winterize your home. If you’re a homeowner experienced in dealing with cold winters, that probably comes as no surprise. But if you’re a new homeowner or you’re new to winter, “winterize” likely sounds like it’s from a foreign language! Here are some easy ways to get your home ready for even the coldest winter.
Change Your Furnace Filter
When you’re using the furnace, whether for heat or air conditioning, it’s important to change your furnace filter at least once every three months (but preferably every month!). These filters get clogged easily, so it’s important that you change it so that the air coming into your home is as clean as possible. Dirty filters can also restrict airflow, which means your furnace will have to work harder to heat your home. This raises your energy costs and shortens the life of your furnace.
Drain or Blow Out Your Pipes
If you leave water in pipes that are within a few feet of the ground or on the outside of your home, that water will expand when it freezes. This can cause your pipe to burst, which means a huge mess for you when you turn the water back on again. Have a professional come blow out your sprinkler pipes, then drain the rest of the water using your main drain valve, which is usually located in the basement. Make sure, too, to unscrew all hoses that attach to pipes on the outside of your home, as this lets any excess water drain out.
Fix Any Drafts
As the weather gets colder and the wind blows, you may notice cold air seeping in beneath doors, around windows, or through cracks in your siding. Get a caulk gun and some caulk to fill these in, and your home will stay warmer and cost less to heat. Make sure you take any moulding off the inside of windows and doors and fill those gaps, too. For cracks that you can’t fill in, like those under doors, make or buy a draft snake to fill in the gap and keep the cold air out.
Get Your Heating System Tuned Up
Sure, your heater is working, but is it working as well as it could? Most models perform at top efficiently when they are lubricated, cleaned, and adjusted at least once a year. Do this at the beginning of winter, so you can take advantage of the improved functioning all winter long. Letting a professional look at your furnace can also let you know if there’s something that needs repairing or replacing, so you don’t end up without heat when you need it most.
Insulate Your Windows
If you don’t have energy efficient windows, you can still keep all of your heat from leaving through them. You can get a window insulation kit at any hardware store. These contain a special plastic that you stick to your windows and which makes them much better at keeping warm air in and cold air out. You’ll get everything you need to do the installation yourself, or you can call a professional to install a higher grade of insulation.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
You can always adjust your thermostat manually, but do you always remember to do that? Do you turn it down every night and every time you leave the house? When you get a programmable one, you can tell it to turn the heat up or down at certain times, like when you go to bed, when you wake, and when you get home from work. This means that you won’t spend money to heat your house when you’re not home or when you’re snuggled up in your bed, and you don’t have to remember to mess with the thermostat all the time.
Reset Your Ceiling Fans
Most people use ceiling fans for cooling in the summer, but did you know they can help heat your home more efficiently, too? Simply change the direction that the fan spins, and it will move hot air that pools near the ceiling back down into your living space. Most fans have a simple switch that will make this happen, and using it can reduce your heating costs significantly.
Winterizing your home can save you quite a bit of money on energy costs, not to mention the frustration of dealing with a broken pipe or a busted furnace in the middle of winter. The experts here at T Webber can schedule an appointment with you to come to your home to help you make sure that your home is ready for winter! Whether you need a heating tuneup, a new thermostat installed, or any other services to get your home ready for winter, our trusted team is here to help.