Prepare Your Home for Winter
Winter is coming. And with it comes a laundry list of things that you need to do to get your home ready for the upcoming season. It may seem overwhelming but by breaking things down into a shorter list, and by highlighting the essentials, you can save yourself some worry and some money. By taking care of your home ahead of time, you can reduce the chance of having a winter-related mishap. In order to prepare your home for winter, here are some areas to focus on. If you need more help or have questions contact Weather Crafters!
Indoor and Outdoor Air
Any crack in your home will leak air – this means warm air that you paid to heat is going outside, while cold air is seeping inside and raising your heating bill. The simplest way to fix the problem is to identify problem areas by completing an energy audit. Energy.gov has more information on how to do an energy audit yourself at https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/home-energy-audits/do-it-yourself-home-energy-audits
You can also get in touch with your electric provider and they can complete a more thorough audit for you. Once you’ve located the areas that are causing the leaks, you can seal them yourself by applying caulking to cracks and openings that are stationary, like a crack in a door frame. If you have cracks or leaks in a movable feature, like a window, use weatherstripping to seal it.
Clean gutters can save you a ton of money. Gutters that work properly move water away from the foundation and preventing cracks. If you have gutters that are clogged by debris, water will seep into the ground around your foundation and cause problems. While the foundation may be the biggest problem, clogged gutters can also cause other issues, such as leaks in walls or roofing. If water can’t go down the drain pipe, it will overflow onto whatever surface is next to it. Standing water can shorten the lifespan of your roof. Gutters work great when they are maintained. Whether you clean the gutters out yourself, or hire a company to do it, you will save yourself money in the long run by avoiding damage caused by clogged gutters.
Your furnace is something your probably don’t think about a lot until you need it, but it is definitely something that should be on the ‘how to prepare your home for winter’ checklist. Properly maintaining your furnace will allow it to run more efficiently, keep your home safer, and extend the life of the furnace. Cleaning your furnace before you use it for the first time each season will help clear out any sediment build up. Sediment can cause your system to run less efficiently or become a potential fire hazard. You should also change the filter regularly during the winter to keep the air you breath clean and to allow for more efficient air flow. Have your system cleaned and inspected annually to ensure that it is running well and that there aren’t any issues. If your current furnace is at the end of it’s life, look into purchasing an energy efficient model. Even if the energy efficient models are a little more expensive, they will save you money in the long run by cutting down on the amount of energy you use and your heating bill.
Air ducts are the veins that move air through your home and if they don’t work efficiently, you are losing money, as well as heat. Inspect your air ducts before each winter and make sure they are properly sealed and insulated. Leaks can cause you to lose up to 20% of the heated air moving through your home. By ensuring that your ducts are properly sealed and insulated, you can save yourself $120 or more on your annual energy bill.
There is less daylight during the winter months, which means that your outdoor lighting gets more use. In order to save money, make sure that you are using energy efficient fixtures and bulbs. These are labeled as ENERGY STAR and ENERGY SAVER products. When decorating for the holidays, select LED lights to cut down on the amount of energy the lights require. Another tip is to install lighting that has an automatic daylight shut-off feature or motion-activated lighting. Lights that can turn themselves off when they aren’t needed will save your energy bill more than a few pennies.
Winter is a time for celebration and cozying up inside your home. Make sure to give your home some TLC so that it can return the favor and keep you warm and snug inside. Preventative maintenance can save you a lot of money, and a lot of headaches. Go through our checklist to make sure you take care of the important stuff. Here at Weather Crafters we are here to help, whether its answering questions, or completing projects for you. Give us a call!
For more information about how to prepare your home for winter, check out https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/make-your-home-winter-ready