The harsh winter weather can have a major impact on your home. The colder months are always a challenge for homeowners because of the damage subfreezing temperatures can bring. From snow to ice dams and broken pipes—let’s just say houses do not like frozen water. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home and keep it in good condition.
Here are our quick tips to winterize your home!
Be Sure to Flush the Water Heater
Having hot water throughout your home during the cold months is a must. Imagine having to take an ice-cold shower before getting into your freezing car in the morning? No one wants to start their day off grumpy because they couldn’t wake up to a relaxing, hot, shower.
Proper water heater maintenance will ensure that you won’t have a major malfunction. One sure-fire way to protect your water heater is to flush it. Particles and sediment will naturally build up inside of a water heater and can influence how it operates. The best way to avoid a hampered water heater is to flush the water out of the bottom drain valve and rid it of this excess buildup. Next thing you know, you are equipped with a well functioning water heater!
Try Utilizing Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are perfect during the summer months to provide a cheap way to cool your home. During the winter, you may not think to switch on your ceiling fans. The trick is to put them in a clockwise motion.
When a fan is running clockwise, they will be pulling the air from the ceiling down to the floor. And, as we know, hot air rises. By pulling this simple trick, you will not lose as much heated air to the roof and keep the room heated for a longer period.
Add Draft Guards on Your Doors
Drafty doors are heating bills worst enemy. Since we need to continuously open and close our entry points, there aren’t many options for keeping in the warmth. One solution is to add draft guards onto the bottom of your doors (especially entry points).
You will see tremendous savings on your energy bill by simply adding an extra layer of insulation to your door. As a bonus, this helps the door not to slam which can cause cracks in the frame.
Your main objective is to seal any area that heat can escape. Doors are the number one culprit for allowing heat to leave the home.
Replace Your HVAC Filters
Forgetting to replace the filters in your home is an easy thing to do. We don’t notice a difference until you have a fresh filter, and your HVAC system is working on a whole new level. If you cannot remember the last time you changed your filters… CHANGE THEM!
You will find that a regularly changed HVAC filter can improve the efficiency of the entire system. Additionally, when your HVAC is operating at full capacity you will notice a better quality of air in the home and savings on your energy bill.
Try Automated Thermostat Temperatures
We see automation becoming an emerging trend in all facets of technology. Thermostats have had timing functionality for ages but the question is:
How do I properly use the timer function to benefit my home?
Heating your home can become costly and, without the right winterization techniques, feel useless. The US Department of Energy claims that “for every degree you lower your home’s temperature – you will save %1 on your energy bill.” One percent may not sound like a lot but, when your home is winterized, you won’t need to run the heat in such long durations. Let your heating system take a break when it is not needed.
The automated thermostat will know to reduce the temperature during hours that you/your family are not home. Even a few hours a day can significantly reduce the amount you spend on heating your home.
Aforementioned, this functionality has been around since the dawn of digital thermostats. The issue is that most people forget that they are able to set up the timers. Go and reset your thermostat so you can start saving on your heating bill today!
Seal Your Windows
Another contender for the “worlds most likely to waste heat” award is your home’s windows. Glass panes are naturally porous and allow for the transference of heat. Some window companies utilize double, triple, or even quad layered windows to help retain your home’s heat.
Your house is working hard to stay warm, just so your windows can slowly allow it to leak out. You should consider going to your local hardware store or drug store and picking up an inexpensive window sealant kit.
They are easy to apply and will save you hundreds of wasted energy costs over the winter season. you will also see a noticeable difference in the temperature of your home. Stop forcing the thermostat to go up and down by keeping your home a single temperature for longer.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters are designed to collect all of the debris that comes from the roof and surrounding foliage. Depending on the style of your gutters, you may notice that they can get clogged. Some gutters have a hard time moving larger debris through the system. When your home’s gutter has a bottlenecked section, it is more likely to cause damage to your home.
When water freezes in a gutter, it creates an ice dam. These pesky nuisances can ruin your gutter system and leach water into the roof—creating even more damage to your roof. Trust us, you do not want to deal with roof damage during the winter…
Either climb up on a ladder and remove all existing debris yourself or hire a nearby company to do a full gutter cleaning. The earlier in the year is easier to clean your gutters but is always a good idea.
Secure Your Outdoor Water Access Storage
Having water access outside is great during the summer but will need to be dealt with before the big winter freeze. You will want to go outside and empty/collect all of your hoses for storage. Since water expands when it is frozen, you will want to protect your gardening hoses and other equipment that utilizes the outdoor water faucets.
Bring your hoses inside and be sure to shut your outdoor water supply off for the season. Double-check that your faucets do not need attention and do a ground sweep for any hoses you may have overlooked.
Check Over Your Tools and Power Equipment
Cold temperatures can be detrimental to all sorts of outdoor equipment. Secure the safety of your expensive tools by also winterizing everything in your garage. That means you should apply the same tips above to your garage.
As far as tools, be sure to empty any gas from your mower and bring any electronic tools inside. You will not need to worry about bringing any of your tools inside if you have a heated garage. Winterizing your home is all about saving your investments from future complications.
Use a Chimney Stop
The last way to save money on your energy bill through winterizing your home is to leverage a chimney stop. These come in many different shapes and sizes. You may already have one installed into your chimney! As you may have guessed, a chimney is another area of your home that allows for the outward flow of heat. Using a chimney stop will keep the heat where it is supposed to be -in your home!
As an added safety tip – DO NOT forget to open the chimney stop if you intend to light a fire. You will end up either starting a fire in the flue or fill your home with smoke. When used correctly, chimney stops will reduce your heating bill while keeping the home nice and cozy.
Do you want to know more about how to protect your home from the elements? Contact us to talk with an agent about prevention methods and proactive policies to protect your home.