Getting Your Home Ready For Winter
Winter is the perfect time to cozy up and enjoy the comforts of your home. Many homeowners, however, don’t take steps to prepare their property for the cold months. This mistake could lead to increased utility bills and unexpected repairs. Here are some useful tips for properly winterizing your home.
ATTICS AND INSULATION
When temperatures drop, you want your home to stay warm and welcoming. One of the most effective ways to ensure this is by having a properly insulated attic space, which prevents heat from escaping and cold air from getting in. Unless your attic is a finished living or storage space, you may be surprised to learn that your roof is designed to allow air to flow into and out of the attic space. Ventilation helps maximize the life expectancy of your roof by preventing hot air and moisture from becoming trapped in the attic space, while insulation on the attic floor creates a barrier for interior comfort.
Attics lacking proper insulation and ventilation are susceptible to ice dams, which occur when heat trapped in the attic melts snow and ice on the roof, causing the melt to settle and refreeze near eaves and gutters.
Homeowners should call Clayton Hoover & Sons for a roof inspection in the fall, which can spot weaknesses well before the change of seasons. Also, if your yard is heavily wooded, it is important to check the health of all trees. Additionally, before winter weather sets in, be sure to clear gutters and downspouts of all leaves and debris so that they will be ready for rain, snow, and ice.
Check for drafts! If you are not ready to invest in new storm windows and doors, there are other options. You can start by sealing your windows with caulk from the outside to reduce the amount of airflow seeping into your home. To add additional protection, install weather-stripping and a window insulation kit. These inexpensive kits are easy to use and can be secured to windows using little more than tape and/or a hairdryer.
Insulating cold water pipes is very important if you live in the north. Pipe insulation, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores, will help keep your pipes from freezing, bursting, and potentially causing thousands of dollars of water damage.
Also, if your hot water pipes are extremely hot to the touch, they are likely losing heat. You can fix this issue by fitting them with pipe insulation sleeves, which will save you money by keeping unwanted heat from escaping the pipe.
We demand a lot from our heating and cooling systems, therefore it is important to have HVAC systems checked by a professional every year. The best time to have this done is before the arrival of winter weather. Additionally, don’t forget to change air filters regularly to keep your system running in peak condition.
In places with extremely cold winters, exterior faucets are more likely to freeze. The best time to address this problem is before temperatures begin to drop. By turning off the water or insulating the pipe, you can prevent busted pipes due to cold weather, as the valve in these types of faucets is positioned inside the wall of your home.
Fireplaces become our go-to destination to unwind during the cold winter months. However, when they are not sealed, chimneys can cause your home to lose more heat than a fireplace can emit. This causes your HVAC system to work harder to keep your house at a comfortable temperature, ultimately costing you more money in the long run. For those that do not use their fireplaces, it’s a good idea to have an airtight chimney cap installed. This will keep warm air in and critters out.