It’s January and if you’re like most people you’re kicking yourself for putting off weatherproofing your home for the winter months. Freezing temperatures and snow are here (or on the horizon if you’re one of the lucky ones who haven’t yet received a blast of winter). There is still time to winterize your home and enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re ready for old man winter and whatever he may throw at you.
1. Inspect the Furnace:
Give the furnace a tune up (either by you or a professional) to ensure it’s clean and working efficiently. To keep it running smoothly, change the filters every month when the furnace is being used. Dirty filters cause the furnace to work harder which wastes energy and it also costs you more money to heat your home.
2. Clean those Gutters:
Clean out the leaves and other debris from your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause leaks, ice jams or water back up which can damage the roof, siding, or trim.
3. Seal leaks around Doors and Windows:
Examine the interior and exterior doors and windows and pay close attention to their joints. Look for ice building up on the window, and air leaks or gaps between the windows, door frames and the siding. If the gap is larger than the width of a nickel, the gap will need to be sealed. Seal the exterior side of the windows using Silicone caulk (it’s resistant to the elements). For the inside, you can purchase a window insulator kit from your local hardware store and install it yourself. For doors, add weather stripping as needed.
4. Stop Pipes From Freezing:
Pipes located in your attic, crawl spaces, basement, or near outer walls are vulnerable to freezing in cold temperatures. Insulate the pipes in these areas to prevent the pipes from freezing. You can also keep cabinet doors open to allow the warm air in to keep the pipes warm in the kitchen and bathroom. If your home doesn’t have frost free faucets outside then shut off the water to them prevent the pipes from bursting.
5. Insulate the Attic:
Keep the heat in your home and not outside by ensuring there is enough insulation in the attic. Without enough insulation, the heat will rise and leave your home causing the furnace to work harder to keep your house warm.
6. Close off Vents:
Turn off any vents you have to attic, storage areas or any areas of the home you don’t use during the winter months. You should also regularly vacuum your vents to keep them clear of dust, debris and children’s toys.
7. Make Sure Detectors and Humidifiers Work:
If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector then purchase one from your local hardware store. Furnaces and fireplaces give off carbon monoxide, a lethal, colorless and odorless gas. Furnaces and fireplaces that are not properly inspected can leak this gas into your home. If you already have a carbon monoxide detector, install fresh batteries. For the smoke detectors test, inspect and install new batteries. Clean your humidifier at least two to three times during the winter.
The above tips and suggestions which most of it you can do yourself, will help save you money this winter. It will help lower your utility bill, protect your home from unnecessary winter disasters and more importantly, give you peace of mind and allow you to join your favorite winter activities.
Jeremy is excited to spend this winter in his new home. Jeremy wrote this article on behalf of EasyApplianceParts.com, the complete online resource for the DIY repair market and appliance parts retailer.