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.
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.
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.
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 Fans in Reverse
In winter the rotation of the fan blades should be clockwise to push hot air towards the floor.
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 need to be cleaned out to avoid icicles from forming and water damage from occurring.
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.
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.
Close off rooms and vents in rooms that are not used.
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.
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.