You can feel the change in seasons whenever you go outside. While your home may seem to provide good cover and protect you against the cold and snow, winter can do quite a number on it. Here, we will explain how to winterize a house, so you stay warm and avoid high energy bills and potential mishaps.
11 Tips to Winterize Your House
1. Seal Gaps in Doors and Windows
Drafty windows and doors can make it uncomfortable and waste energy. If you feel drafts around any window or door frame, apply caulking in between. Door and window seals and weatherstripping should be installed if you don’t have them, or replaced if they’re worn or damaged. Seals should also be placed around window air conditioners and any mail chutes in your home.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Dirt, leaves, and twigs can block gutters and prevent snow and ice from draining away from the roof, rather than directing it away. This can cause roofing materials to rot and damage to nearby foundations and walkways. Cleaning the gutters can avoid serious, and expensive, structural damage. Most debris can be rinsed out with a garden hose; larger items can be scooped out.
3. Insulate Your House
Insulation is an effective way to prepare your house for winter. To protect pipes, wrap insulation sleeves around them, especially lines that run through the attic, basement, crawl space, and other unheated zones. You can prevent frozen or burst pipes and reduce heating costs too. Walls, attics, and unheated garages should be insulated with batt, spray-foam, blown-in, or loose-fill insulation. Water heater insulation blankets are available as well; they’re available in different sizes to fit your tank and reduce heat loss from 25% to 45%.
4. Disconnect Garden Hoses
Detach any garden hose you are using and drain it so pipes behind the hose spigot don’t burst. Store it in a safe, warm place. And make sure to shut off any water valves serving hoses that you use in the warmer months. Never leave a hose out if you use it in winter as pipes behind the spigot can freeze.
5. Install an Emergency Pressure Release Valve
Although knowing how to shut off your water supply helps, you can go a step further. An emergency pressure release valve protects your plumbing system from the forces that frozen pipes can cause. It’s therefore less likely for pipes to burst if freezing occurs.
6. Trim Those Trees
Trimming back overgrown tree branches avoids having large parts of trees snap and punch holes in your roof, damage your car, or potentially injure someone or worse. Snow and ice put tremendous weight on trees. If branches are hanging over your house, prune them, and if any fall on the roof clear them with a roof rake.
7. Bring in Outdoor Furniture/Grilling Equipment
Outdoor furniture and grills can be easily damaged by cold, stormy weather. Move these items to the basement or garage if possible. If you use a grill propane tank, disconnect it, close the tank valve, and store it inside. Cover any items you don’t have storage room for.
8. Get Your Roof Inspected/Repaired
Inspect your roof for damaged or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and clogged valleys. If there are leaves or any other debris, clear them away, and install snow guards where possible. Look inside your attic for any signs of water leakage. Hiring a professional roofing contractor can be the safer alternative; plus, they know all the issues to look for and fix.
9. Get Your Fireplace Inspected
An annual fireplace inspection (by a CSIA-certified inspector) can spot creosote buildup or animal nests as well as soot, debris, and other buildup in the chimney. Ash should be swept out of the firebox. It’s also a good idea to have a chimney sweep provide a thorough cleaning so your fireplace is safe to use.
10. Reverse the Fan
Ceiling fans turn counterclockwise in summer to push cold air lower. You don’t want this in winter. Move the switch so the blades move clockwise and push warm air from the ceiling towards the floor.
11. Have Your Heating System Maintained
Schedule annual maintenance for your furnace or boiler. Breakdowns are most likely to occur during times of high demand, while hidden issues can precede major repairs and even expose your family to deadly carbon monoxide. A contractor can inspect the system and make any fixes and adjustments necessary, so your furnace runs reliably and safely this winter.
Contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air
Following our tips on how to winterize a house can keep you warm and safe for the next few months. Our team is here to help you get through the winter. Specializing in high-quality, professional customer service, they provide thorough maintenance and any repair necessary. To schedule maintenance, request 24/7 emergency services, or learn more about our financing or protection plans, call (208) 996-8784 today.