Getting yourself ready for winter is a snap. Jacket, gloves, scarf...Check! Well what about your house, are you ready for another winter? Getting your home ready for a long, cold season is another story. So, until someone invents a turtleneck sweater you can put around your house when it gets cold, there are some things you should do.
Getting your home for winter can seem like an annoying and perhaps unobtainable chore. But the financial benefits could outweigh any overwhelming feelings you had. Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date/service. Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save you a nice chunk of change while protecting your property for the years to come.
Sometimes looking at a giant to-do list is overwhelming. To save frustration, break it down into three or four jobs you can tackle over the next few weekends.
1. Prep the Plumbing
Drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Roll up the garden hoses and store them inside. Identify any "problem" pipes that are prone to freezing in the house and consider using heat tape to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. If the worst happens, ensure everyone in the home knows how to turn off the water at the source. This will minimize leaking when and if a pipe bursts.
2. Heat Things Up
Everyone enjoys cozy evenings by a crackling fire, so ensure your fireplace is ready to provide warm nights all winter. Be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before the first fire. Also, have a professional perform a routine check of the heating systems before cold weather arrives. This should include vacuuming the vents and other heating components. If your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing.
3. Reverse Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings -- and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
4. Seal the Leaks
Keep drafts to a minimum this winter. If you have them, install storm windows and doors -- and don't overlook the basement. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows. If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements.
As I have said since the beginning, please call a local REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.