10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the bare trees, early nights, and layer of frost each morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it isn’t too late. Run through these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Heating System
Your furnace has been dormant all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, request a visit from a qualified technician to inspect, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in great shape over the years is to sign up for a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Call a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once a year. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can cause chimney fires. It also grants you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in suitable condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you start to run your furnace more often, search for and seal air leaks that allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The best way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that may be leaky, such as near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find 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 disperse warm air down to the living space during the winter. For the best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This tactic is ideal for stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
An additional way to winterize your home is to swap out thin, summery window coverings for thicker, insulating drapes. Remember to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun warms your home for free. Then, pull the curtains after dark for increased insulation against the cold night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature dips, exposed pipes are at risk of 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 creates an added layer of protection in particularly frigid climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances increases the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. Exercise caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, install CO detectors on every floor of your home, primarily outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and swap out the batteries twice yearly.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You can 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 a modern 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 develop along the eaves, preventing melted snow from falling off the roof. When ignored, ice dams can allow water to reach under the shingles and damage things in the attic. Use these tips to prevent ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop heated 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.
- Make sure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside the house, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer on Hand
Slips and falls are more common in freezing winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer across the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for proper application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing equipment. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer excellent furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare the house for winter weather. For more info about our services or to arrange an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.