Photo by JamesDeMers via Pixabay
Winterizing your home is an important part of homeownership. It protects your house from damage that can happen when the temperatures drop and the snow falls. But what if you didn’t get started in time? If you’ve already got damage, you’ll have no choice but to get it repaired. If there’s no damage yet, get started on that winterizing!
Any pipes you have that are not in a heated area of your house should be insulated. If they’re not, they could freeze and burst, so be sure to look for any cracks. Consider insulating your pipes with pipe sleeves or fiberglass insulation. You can also get a water heater cover to help keep your heating costs down. If it’s too late, you’ll know it when your pipes freeze. If they burst, all you can do is call a plumber immediately.
Prevent drafts in your windows and doors by checking for leaks. Your heat will leak to the outdoors if you don’t keep your windows sealed. Make sure all your windows are locked. This forces the windows to stay sealed instead of the top window sliding down.
You can seal leaky windows by using clear weatherstripping tape along the edges of the windows, or you can use a window insulation kit. These are simple to install and save you money on your heating bill. Consider getting draft snakes to put under drafty doors, too.
Before you use your wood-burning fireplace, make sure to get it inspected by a chimney sweep. Wood can leave a buildup of creosote in your chimney, which is highly flammable and dangerous to use. Make sure to check the masonry for leaks, too. Once you’ve gotten it cleaned, you can enjoy a nice warm fire during the next cold snap.
If your heat is working fine, you’re probably in good shape. If you want to make sure it’s going to continue working efficiently, you can call a specialist to come in and do an inspection for you. But beware that this is their busy time of year, so you might have a longer wait. The best time to do this is in the spring and fall when HVAC workers aren’t in high demand.
You can do a short visual inspection of your system in the meantime. Check the ducts to make sure there are no cracks or leaks, and check the vents to make sure they are clear of dust and pet hair. Try using a good flashlight to see into dark spots. Change your filter as often as is recommended by your filter manufacturer. Many only require it to be changed every three months, but some are monthly.
Take the cover off your thermostat and clean the dust on the insides with a cotton swab. Check that your outside air conditioning unit is level to keep it more efficient. You can install a new, programmable thermostat any time of the year, which will help save you money by only using the heat when you need it. If you use any window air conditioning units, remove them. If that’s not possible, buy a cover for them.
Enjoy the Warmth
Taking the time to winterize your home means you’ll get to enjoy the time you spend indoors. Now that you’ve ensured it stays at a comfortable temperature, be sure you’ve also got a positive, healthy environment inside. Doing so means you’ll look forward to winter every year.
If you didn’t jump into action in the fall, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Protecting your house from the weather is a year-round job. There are still plenty of possibilities for keeping your house humming like a well-oiled machine. Plus, your home will be in good shape for years to come.
By Guest Author Chelsea Lamb