Written by Ander F. Shumann
Gutters Cleaned? …check
Shingles All Accounted for? … check
Exterior Faucets Drained?… check
Here are 9 easy ways to ensure your house is ready for winter:
1.) Change Your Furnace Filter: dirty furnace filters restrict airflow and compromise your indoor air quality. By changing these monthly, you can reduce energy costs and maximize house comfort and air quality.
2.) Winterize your irrigation: blow out your irrigation systems to ensure that the first frost doesn’t wreak havoc on your irrigation system potentially costing you time and money for repairs when spring comes around.
3.) Drain your exterior Faucets: it’s simple… turn off the inside water knob (usually hidden in your basement ceiling) to the outside faucets and open your exterior faucets… let excess water trickle out and close the faucet. This will prevent expanding water to freeze and burst the faucet when the deep freeze comes.
4.) Draft stop any exterior doors: a simple and effective way to combat cold air that comes into your home is by adding a “draft snake” at the bottom of your front door. This trick can save you some money in lost hot air and add to the comfort of your home.
5.) Tune up your furnace: By making sure your furnace is tuned up you can ensure that the furnace is in good operating condition and cleaned up and ready for a cold winter.
6.) Preset your thermostat: You can program most newer thermostats to run at a lower temperature when you are away for work and set them to ramp up to your comfort level before you get home.
7.) Insulate your leaky windows: You can buy plastic sheeting installation kits at any hardware store for covering leaky and drafty windows to ensure that all of your heating dollars are not lost to leaky windows.
8.) Check your caulking and weather stripping: even minor holes can cost plenty of unwanted air loss. Simple installation in these problem areas around windows and doors is a tried and true method for keeping drafts out and comfort in.
9.) Check your attic insulation: have mice or birds made nests out of your attic? Double check to make sure all of your attic insulation is in place… this is the most common area for winter heat loss and painful effects from ice damming.
Also, if you want to look at other ways to improve your homes efficiency, check to see your furnace or water heater need to be updated or can be upgraded. Anything over 10 years old is likely in need of repairs, insulation, or tune-ups and this can be as simple as a call to your local trustworthy contractor.