Learn About Power Generators for Your Home

home generator

Home generators offer a solution to power up your home when there are outages. You can keep the refrigerator running, lights on and air conditioning going. Here are some tips to consider when purchasing a home-generator system:

How Much Power?
Think about how much power your large essential appliances need. Refrigerators, air conditioning, sump pumps and electric water heaters will have the highest power draw and are some of the most essential items you want to have live during power outages.

Many generator manufacturers will have online wattage calculators to help you determine what size you will need. Or, calculate the number by finding the wattage rating for each appliance. It will say: “Starting Watts” (how much power used when first turned on) and “Running Watts” (how much power used once running.) If only the “Running Watts” is listed, multiply that number by three. A small- to medium-sized home usually averages 5,000 to 7,500 watts.

Here are some sample appliances and their average watts:
Refrigerator: 600 watts
Sump Pump: 1,500 watts
Portable Heater: 1,500 watts
Window A/C: 1,000 watts
Lights: 60–600 watts
Computers: 60–300 watts

Size of the Generator and Noise
You will need to place the generator close to your home. Fire protection code requires a generator to be five or more feet away from doors and windows. Smaller generators are permitted to be 18 inches from an exterior wall. (Larger generators are around 30″x30″x48″. Smaller versions are 24″x24″x36″.)

The noise factor will be a consideration in what type of generator you purchase. Most generators have an average of 60 to 70 decibels. By comparison a vacuum cleaner usually has 70-80 decibels.

Fuel for the Generator
Generators either use liquid propane, natural gas or both Propane gas is affordable and burns “clean”. It’s easy to find at hardware stores, gas stations and many grocery stores. Generators that run from natural gas can be tied to the home’s natural gas line.

Solar-Powered Generator
There are solar-powered generators to consider as well. This innovative system is connected to a breaker panel. It can provide about 3000 Watt hours. Solar panels and expansion batteries can be added to recharge for endless power. Systems range from $2,200 up to $8,000. Read more about this type of generator.

Benefits of a Home Generator
A home generator good for 5,000+ watts will be set to take over (with its Automatic Transfer Switch) as soon as power goes out. Some models have a remote start button.

Pricing
Smaller units with up to 2,000 watts cost between $400 and $1,000. They are the lightest type of generator and can be easily transported.

Mid-sized units with up to 3,500 watts range from $1,000 and $1,700. This type of equipment can keep the refrigerator and lights running for 8–18 hours using 2–3 gallons of gas. If you rarely have black outs, this might be an option for your home.

If you rarely have black outs, a Portable Generator is another good option. These type of devices provide power to specific appliances such as the refrigerator. With up to 7,500 watts, the price will range from $700–$2,800. (Note: many of these generators can weigh up to 300 pounds!) If you use this type of generator, you will need to be careful about protection from rain or snow.

Large Inverter systems have up to 7,500 watts and cost $1,400–$4,000. These type of appliances are quiet and fuel efficient. They can provide enough power for your refrigerator and small air-conditioning system. They run on stabilized gasoline. Large inverter generators are best for homes with frequent or prolonged power outages.

Home Standby generators have up to 20,000 watts and cost $2,000–$6,000 and will weigh up to 600 pounds. Installation costs can be as much as the cost of the generator. These systems need to be installed permanently next to your home. They run on natural gas or propane. This system should not be exposed to flood-prone areas.

Read more about selecting a home generator here.

Home-Generator Safety Tips:

  1. Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide. Be sure to have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home. They should have battery back-up to assure they will work during a power outage.
  2. A generator should be placed at least 20 feet from the home with the exhaust pointing away from any windows and doors. Never run a portable generator inside your home.
  3. The generator should be on level ground or a pad, with a generator tent in place to keep it out of the rain. Most generator manufacturers suggest and sell tents for their products.
  4. The generator needs to be properly grounded so it won’t electrify the puddles of water or wet ground adjacent to it.
  5. Never “backfeed” your home. You can risk electrocution risk to utility workers using the same transformer or can start a fire. (Backfeeding means powering your home electrical systems by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.)
  6. Allow time for the generator to cool before refilling it with fuel.
  7. Check the fuel line periodically for signs of wear or cracks that could cause a fuel leak and subsequent fire.
  8. Plug only essential appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer directly into the generator outlets. Use a heavy-duty cord when connecting to an appliance.
  9. Consider having an electrician install a transfer switch directly into the existing circuit breaker panel that can help feed electricity to areas of the entire residence.
  10. The generator should be started periodically to check it is operational with sufficient fuel and oil to operate quickly and safely.
  11. If you use a propane or gas-fueled generator, have extra fuel on your property. Store in an approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place. Adding a stabilizer will help the gas last longer.

    Need help getting your home’s electric system ready for your home generator? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend a vetted electrician to help you.

How To Prepare Your Garage for an Electric Car

Get your garage ready for an electric car

Electric car sales have been growing and with rising gas prices, many people are considering an electric one for their next vehicle purchase. In the U.S., currently under 1% of all cars are fully electric. However, hybrid vehicles have had a 76% increase in sales and there has been an 83% increase for fully electric cars. By end of 2022, it is expected that 5% of all car sales will be electric vehicles.

With an all-electric car, finding a charging station is a concern. Having a personal charging station housed in the garage is what car owners want.

An electric car’s charger is actually buried inside of the vehicle. It takes an AC course from the electric supplied and then converts it to DC so the car’s battery pack is charged. In a garage you will need a wall-mounted box with the cord and plug that supplies those volts of electricity. The system is known as an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE).

Level 1 and Level 2 Charging Stations
There are a variety of EVSEs available and it is important to choose one that is right for your car. You will want to install either a level one with a 120-volt/12-amp outlet; or a level two that has a 240-volt/20-40-amp outlet. (A 240 EVSE service gives you about 23 miles of range each hour of charging.)

240V (Level 2) Is the Best Option
A 240-volt outlet uses more power in half the time than that of a 120-volt outlet and is best for those who are always driving. (It costs more but will give you more power in less time. It takes between 4 to 9 hours to recharge – depending upon the kind of vehicle you own.)

Installation
An electrician should be involved in the installation of the circuit board and ESVE. If the ESVE is on a shared circuit, other appliances in your home will slow down the car-charging process. Your electrician should:

• Have experience with this type of installation.

• Review where the EVSE should be placed in relation to how your car is parked. You need to consider the length of time the car will be charging and if the cord/car will be in the way during that time period.

• Do a load calculation of all existing circuits. You need to know how much power you have in your home and garage. Make sure the new circuit is capable of 40–50 amps.

• Determine if permits are required prior to installation.

• Once the garage is wired, the charging station should be bolted securely to the wall. Make sure the cord is long enough to reach a car parked outside of the garage (16–25 feet).

Garage Details
Is there climate control in the garage? Electric car batteries do not handle fluctuating weather well. An insulated garage door will prevent the interior temperature from changing too drastically and will help extend a car battery’s life.

Apps
Some systems come with a “Juice Box” app which lets you track how much power your car uses.

Need Helping Installing a Car Charger System in Your Garage?
Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend an electrician with experience.



Quick Tips for Kitchen Redecorating on a Budget

Tips for updating your kitchen

Here are a couple of great tips for updating your kitchen on a budget:

CHANGE THE LIGHTING
One of the most common problems with older kitchens is harsh or insufficient lighting. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest problems to solve! While it may seem like a daunting task to switch out a hanging light fixture, there are plenty of online guides that will take you through the process. Many homeowners are surprised to find that it’s easy to do. Light fixtures can be very affordable. Most local home improvement stores carry a nice selection of modern fixtures in inexpensive to moderate price ranges, so chances are good that you’ll find something you love.

SWITCH OUT HARDWARE
Another quick fix that will have your kitchen looking great is a hardware upgrade. We’re talking about the hinges, handles and knobs on the faces of your cabinets. For $15 to $30, you can buy all new hardware and install it yourself in an afternoon. Brushed copper or brass is very popular right now, but the most important thing is that you pick something that complements the color of your cabinetry and works with the style of your kitchen.

REPLACE THE FAUCET
With a wrench and some silicone caulk, you can have your new faucet installed and running in half an hour. High-arching, single-handle faucets are most popular, as these styles have technical advantages over their flat, double-handle counterparts. High-arching faucets give you more room to maneuver dishes and pots and single-handle faucets allow more control over water temperature. These are a little more expensive, but a great faucet should cost you around $150 – a small price to pay for serious utility. Bonus points if you pick out a faucet that is functional and unique.

UPDATE THE COUNTERS
Unfortunately, replacing your counters is a big job that requires a real investment. If you’ve just moved in, and are strapped for cash, you may wish to wait until your finances are a little bit more stable. In the meantime, you can still have good looking counters with a little bit of ingenuity.

One option is to cover your counters with a butchers block. If you look around, you can even find butchers block wood that is cut specifically to the size of your counters. Simply rest the block on top and voila – beautiful wood counters. Remember to invest in mineral oil for proper maintenance.

The other option is to paint your counters. This is a little trickier than painting a wall, but easier than you might think. “The Kitchn” blog has a great step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Once you’re finished, take a look around. We’re betting that you won’t even recognize the kitchen that was there when you moved in.

Not into DIY? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for specialists to help with your kitchen updates.

Improvements to Make to Your Home Now Before Selling This Spring or Summer

Home improvement ideas


It’s winter and you are spending time inside. Now can be a great time to make some improvements, especially if you’ve been thinking about selling your home this spring or summer. Here’s our list of ideas to consider:

Paint Rooms
A fresh coat of paint does a world of wonder. Walls can have wear and tear and painting them will make them look like new again. Consider painting neutral, relatable colors that buyers would prefer.

Wash Windows
Scrub your windows inside (and outside when it’s spring). Gleaming windows will let in the light.

Deep Clean
Clean everything. Dust collects on ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, picture frames and baseboards. Scrub the kitchen top to bottom including the oven and refrigerator.

Declutter
If you are thinking of moving, you will need to pack at some point. Why not get rid of unused items now? This activity should be done room by room. Little by little, your home will be clutter free!

Consider thinning out the amount of furniture you have to make rooms appear larger. Box up extra picture frames and decorations. Either keep or donate them. Be ruthless with getting rid of coats and jackets and other clothing.

Cabinet Upgrade
Kitchen cabinets are a huge selling factor for homes. If yours could use some TLC, you could stain or paint them to give them a refreshed look. Or, just give them a good scrub! Think about replacing knobs and door fronts.

Backsplash
Does your kitchen lack a backsplash? This is a relatively easy way to make an impactful update. Neutral subway tile always looks great.

Faucets
If bathroom or kitchen faucets look dated, replace them. This is an easy weekend project.

Lighting
Replacing light fixtures is another easy project to refresh a room’s look.

Carpeting Cleaning
Well-used carpets might be screaming for a deep clean!

Make Essential Repairs
You could go ahead and hire a home inspector to check out your home to preempt potential snags when selling. The repairs have to be made – may as well cross them off your list.

Curb Appeal
When selling having curb appeal is important. During winter, you will not be able to tend to the landscaping, but perhaps repaint the front door or add a new outside light fixture.

———————–

Home Upgrades – Think First!
Upgrading your home before selling needs to be thoughtfully considered. Your upgrade could lead to a small return value with little enjoyment on your part. It’s always a good idea to consult with your real estate agent before starting a large upgrade project.

Take a look at Remodeling Magazine’s report on investment vs recouping values. You can drill down to a regional or city analysis of 22 home projects. For example, replacing a garage door brings an average of 93% recouped value when selling. On the other hand, a bath remodel adds about 69% for recouped value.


Need help with your home improvement project? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend vetted pros to help you!.



Your Winter Home-Maintenance Check List

Caulking WindowWinter is just a few months away. Now is the time for homeowners to take the time to perform one last check of their homes before cold weather really sets in for the next few months. Doing so can help to keep everyone in the house safe and warm, while also saving money and averting potential issues.

Pipes
Perhaps the biggest financial risk homes face during the winter are burst pipes. When that happens, water can spill into the walls and cause a lot of damage long before a problem is even detected. It’s always wise for homeowners to assess where they stand with their water pipes.

Pipes that run along the outside of a home or along the ceiling in the basement and are uninsulated could be at risk. Wrapping them in an economic, specialized material or even towels can help protect them even if a home’s heating system stops working. Wrap your pipes and keep your home at 65 degrees or more. Also, know where your home’s water shutoff is located, so you can quickly shut off your water in an emergency.

Other Insulation
When insulating pipes, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t losing heat through uninsulated attics or other spaces. Since heat rises, you may lose a lot more heated air through ceilings. When attics are properly insulated along floors, they not only help to save on heat, but also prevent potential ice dams from forming undetected on the roof because a warmer roof can lead to snow melting under its surface.

Up on the Roof
When thinking about the roof, it’s a good idea to make sure all tiles or shingles are in good shape; and all gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other debris that can lead to backups and more potential ice dams. A quick trip up a ladder might be all it takes to identify problem areas before they become major issues.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Inspect the exterior of your home and look for any cracks and holes along the edges of window frames and doorways. Fissures can be filled or covered with caulk, which will help keep the heated air inside this winter. While any individual crack or hole is going to be small, some experts estimate that the collective area of all of them across an entire house can amount to the size of an open window.

Need Help?
If you are not comfortable climbing onto the roof or doing other home-related activity, reach out to Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can make recommendations of vetted vendors to you.

Decluttering your Home? Items you Should Sell!

Decluttering your home Sibcy Cline Realtors

Decluttering your home can provide much satisfaction. With things cleared out, everything has a place with no messy piles. (If you are getting your home ready to sell, a good purge will save you lots of time for when you finally move.)

Here are some tips of what items are best to sell when decluttering:

Recreation Gear
Recreation equipment can be pricey when purchased new. You should do well earning cash, especially during the warmer months when people use these items most. Things such as tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and camping gear are sought after.

Old Computers/Typewriters
If you have an older computer or a typewriter, you might be able to make money when selling. People like to use old-style typewriters as decor. Some older computers are in demand. Do research before getting rid of such items.

Video Games
You’ll need to see what games and consoles are selling in today’s market. There are nostalgia collectors searching for older games for their collections. It’s all about supply and demand for what you will get when selling.

CDs/Records/Tapes/DVDs
If you are ready to digitize your music collection, consider selling old CDs. Vintage vinyl albums are highly sought after, so be sure to sell those! The same goes for movie DVDs.

Clothing
Kids’ clothes in gently used condition can be easily sold. (Holiday apparel is popular in the resale market.) Adult clothing can be sold, too. If the items are designer and in good condition, consider selling on Poshmark. Otherwise, donations might be the best bet to get rid of other unused clothes.

Exercise Equipment
Have a treadmill or exercise bike you no longer use? You should try selling it. Old equipment could be someone’s new workout tool.

Furniture
Out-of-date furniture items at the right price are appealing to buyers for DIY projects. Antiques might sell – it all depends on the style of the item.

Instruments
New musical instruments tend to be pricey. Try selling them secondhand. Pianos may be difficult to sell since they are heavy.

Books
Some hardcover books make great decor items, especially if they have interesting spines. Try to sell such books as a set. Newer books can be resold, too. Fiction books are popular for the resale market. Have a collection of cookbooks? Consider digitizing favorite recipes and minimizing your collection to your most-used books. The rest can be sold. If you have a comic book collection, check out pricing online. You might have a gold mine.

Baby Items
All of the accessories for babies – high chairs, cribs, strollers, etc… are in demand on the secondhand market. Sell them.

Toys
There is a market for vintage toys as well as current toys in clean, good condition. (The Barbie with no hair will need to be tossed.)

Art/Home Decor
Depending upon the item, you may be able to sell art or home decor. It’s worth a try. Items not in style or popular will probably need to be donated.

Holiday Decor
Ornaments can have value, especially vintage pieces. For example the Hallmark brand has collectible ornaments people want.

Tools
If you are paring down your tool set, sell what you do not need.

China, Dishes and Glassware
If your collection of dishes is large, perhaps it is time to downsize to what you actually use. Try to sell the rest. If that is not successful, consider donating them. The same goes for glassware.

Kitchen Appliances
There are many tools for mixing, dicing, baking, blending and more. Take inventory of your kitchen appliances and keep only those you actually use. Vitamixers and air fryers are popular right now and would be good items to sell. If your unused appliance is older, consider donating it.

Antiques
Not in love with an antique item in your home? You may be able to make some cash by selling it. You’ll need to Google each item to get a feel for value. Mid-Century Modern items are currently very popular. If the item is not popular, a donation might be best.

Bedding/Linens
You may be able to sell bedding or linens in good condition at a garage sale. Otherwise donate this type of item.

Items in your Garage
Yard equipment such as an old lawn mower, trimmer or other garden tools can be sold. Bicycles and scooters are other good items to sell. (Facebook Marketplace is a good place for these type of items.)

Where to Sell Items
If offline is your method, try a garage sale, flea market, or reach out to friends and family. Online, there are many options such as eBay (for items that can be shipped), Let Go, Offer Up, CraigsList, Poshmark (clothes/handbags/home decor), Facebook groups/marketplace or NextDoor. Everything But The House is another online option.

















Sibcy Cline Home Services: Finding Reliable Contractors for Your Needs


If you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance that you have some repairs or improvement to make in the process—and the same goes for buyers. You may have just purchased your dream home, but that flowered wallpaper is NOT part of the dream. Even if you’ve been in your home for a while and have no intention to move, this pandemic has you looking around and wishing a few things were just a little different.  

The “home remodeling bug” seems to have been contagious. During 2020, Sibcy Cline Home Services saw an increase in homeowners who desired to make repairs and improvements. We had 3900 new customers in 2020 who were able to work with our Home Services Coordinators to get the help they needed from local vendors and see their projects and/or move to a new home to completion.  

Are you seeing some projects you’d like to complete in your home? Getting the help you need is easy with our home services department. We’ll match your project to one of our 200 local vendor partners—all of whom meet our standards of service. You’re assured prompt and reliable service for your home repair or home improvement project, and our services to match with you up with a reputable vendor near you are FREE.  

While we have services for just about any type of project you may have, we’ve compiled a list of the home services that were the most popular during 2020 and created the graphic below. The graphic excludes our #1 service, which is home inspections. During 2020, we provided 1446 home inspections for buyers around the region.  

By enlisting the help of our coordinators, homeowners were able to fix plumbing and water issues, repair electrical problems, fix roofs, paint, clean, and of course, hire movers to move them into or out of their homes. And don’t forget the best part: our coordinators’ services are FREE to anyone in the local market.

For more information on how Sibcy Cline can make your next project go smoothly, watch our video here. To speak to one of our Home Services coordinators, visit the Home Services contact page to fill out the form and someone will reach out to you right away!  

Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 – How to Use Them in Your Home!

pantone color of the year 2021

Thinking of adding some color to your home this year? If you want to be on top of the newest trends, Pantone suggests Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow for 2021.

Why these two colors?
Per Pantone, gray is the color of strength and fortitude. Yellow is a color for aspiration and hope. Yellow also denotes positivity and warmth. Read more about these colors here.

Using these colors in your home
If you are inspired to add gray and yellow to your home’s decor, here are some ideas:

1. Accessories
Using gray and/or yellow accents with pillows, blankets, curtains or art are simples ways to splash these colors without having to invest in expensive items such as furniture. Another idea would be to use gray-colored pottery. Remember – use yellow sparsely since it is such a strong color.

2. Kitchen
If you have considered painting your kitchen cabinets, Ultimate Gray might be the perfect color. This gray pairs well with other colors. You could use accents of yellow with kitchen accessories.

3. Bathroom Accents
Ultimate Gray looks nice as a bathroom wall color or as a backsplash or floor tile.

4. Front Door
Consider Illuminating Yelllow as the color for your front door. Yellow will stand out especially against gray siding and roofing materials. Use a white trim for the highest contrast.

5. Bedroom
Gray on the walls creates a neutral, calm setting for a bedroom. If you want to add yellow, consider a rug or pillows.

Are you making updates to your home? What colors are you using this year?

If you need assistance with any of your home’s updates, connect with Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have many vetted, local vendors providing all kinds of services for the home!





Ideas to Inspire Your Home Office

This past year you may have been spending many working hours at home. How is that home office situation looking? If it involves placing your laptop on the kitchen table, please read below for ideas on how to make your home office space into something better.

Note: Having two separate works spaces in your home is considered a positive selling feature. Home buyers are looking for space for two work-at-home scenarios and/or at-home school learning.


Office Location in Your Home

Depending upon how large your home is and how rooms are utilized, your office location can vary. If you have a dedicated study or home office, that room is the obvious solution. This allows you to work all day and then close the door and move into “home life”.

If a formal study does not exist, you will need to carve out home work space elsewhere. A guest bedroom could be a solution. Perhaps dedicate one wall in that room to your work space. Or, if there is a large closet available, consider reconfiguring it into your office space. If your home has a loft, that space could be perfect for an office. A finished lower level also might offer the solution for your desk and office space.

The dining room is a popular room for a home-office space. These rooms often lack doors. But, if need be, this may be your solution – on a temporary basis.

Many kitchens have desk spaces for handling bills and home paper work. Although this room may be too noisy for your day-to-day work space, it could be the right space if it is in a quiet setting.

The garage – believe it or not – can be used for office space, especially if it is attached to the home and has heat and air. One downside to using this type of space is that your car may have to be parked elsewhere.

“She Sheds” and “Man Caves” have become very popular, If you have one that is suitable with electric, heating and air, this could be the perfect space for that home office.

Office Chair
When sitting all day, you need a good chair, preferably one that is ergonomically correct. These type of chairs will support your back, neck and legs.

Stand Up!
Some people prefer the option of standing when working to take pressure off of a sore back. An ergonomic, standing desk rises and allows you to stand in comfort.

Lighting
Natural light is best for a comfortable work area. If you can, place your desk area near a window. Additionally, floor and desk lamps can add even more light to your space.

Take a Break Area
It’s always a good idea to walk away from your desk to stretch and think things out. Perhaps a comfortable chair or couch would be a good place to read and think.

Decor
If you have a dedicated space for your home office, then home decor will be important. Depending upon your taste and style, you could have something “traditional”, minimalist or vintage chic. Look here for some inspirational ideas on how to decorate.

More Inspiration
Here are photos of home offices from a few Sibcy Cline agents:

Jenny Howard Sibcy Cline Lebanon

Jenny Howard (an agent with Sibcy Cline’s Lebanon office) has a home office that has been recently updated. She removed two layers of wallpaper that dated back to 1917. Jenny’s Arts and Crafts style desk creates a calm, uncluttered look and is the perfect place for her to work. The Edison-style table lamp adds interest. Jenny reports this room is still a work in progress, but it looks like it is already a perfect place to pull together real estate deals!

Jill Fritz Sibcy Cline West Chester

Jill R. Fritz (a Sibcy Cline West Chester real estate agent) owns a work desk that means the world to her. It was built by her grandfather and used in his law office. (Jill’s father has a second desk.) As you can see, her office is ready for real estate business. The room has character – from the old-style phone to the desk lamp. Jill has not completed her redesign of her home office yet, but one thing is for sure, her well-loved desk will be part of her daily work routine for years to come.

Lisa Holt is an award-winning interior designer and posts many “how to” YouTube videos. Here is one on IKEA home-office hacks:









How to Winterize Your Home

Winter is right around the corner and it’s time to get your home ready for those upcoming cold months. Here are some tips to winterize your home:

Caulk, Use Window Film and Weather Stripping
Use caulk to fill in gaps in windows, doors and siding. You can purchase plastic film kits to insulate windows. Weatherstripping will also help in keeping  windows insulated. Use threshold strips to keep air leaks at bay at the bottom of doors. Here is more information on how to caulk and weatherstrip windows.

Heating System
Change the filter for the heating system often. Dirty filters restrict airflow. It is also a good idea to schedule a maintenance check up for the heater. The heating professional will clean, tune up and inspect the system.

Thermostat
If you do not already own one, a programmable thermostat is a great way to easily set temperatures for when you are home or are out. You can customize the settings so the heat is not running full force when you do not need it.

Chimney Check
The chimney can be the largest source of energy loss. A chimney balloon can prevent drafts and costs around $50. Be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not being used.

Animal nests or buildup in your fireplace can be a hazard. An annual inspection before building a fire is a very good idea. Having a chimney sweep clean the chimney will alleviate having debris that could cause a fire.

Ceiling fanCeiling Fans in Reverse
In winter the rotation of the fan blades should be clockwise to push hot air towards the floor.

Doors
If there are large gaps at the bottom of exterior doors, use a rolled-up towel or throw rug to close these gaps. Or you can use a draft snake – you can make one if you’re into DIY!

Gutters
Gutters need to be cleaned out to avoid icicles from forming and water damage from occurring.

Pipes
Wrap or insulate exposed pipes in any unheated areas in the home. Pre-slit pipe foam is available at most hardware stores.

Let the Sunshine In
During the day, open up curtains and blinds of south-facing windows to allow the sun in. Close them up when it is dark outside to keep the heat in.

Air Conditioning Unit
Remove any outdoor window-unit air conditioners during the colder months. For central air units, remove all debris such as leaves and bushes. You can also cover the unit with a piece of wood large enough to cover the top.

Roof
Check to see if there are any shingles that need to be repaired or replaced. Roof vents should also be checked for holes or cracks. Leaves and other debris should be removed from gutters.

Unused Rooms?
Close off rooms and vents in rooms that are not used.

Outdoor Spigots
Turn off exterior water spigots. You can also cover spigots to avoid freezing water.

Storm Doors and Windows
If you have storm doors and windows – install them. A storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%.

Lawn and Patio Furniture
If space is available, it is best to stow patio furniture especially if it is made of wood. Aluminum furniture is more durable and can be left outside.

Vacant Home?
Learn more about winterizing a vacant home here.

Home Energy Audit
Finally, consider a free energy assessment that is available from Duke Energy. You may find more ways to winterize and save money!

Need help with your winterization? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.