Learn How to Winterize Your Home for the Upcoming Cold Months
As we enter the cold months, it is important to winterize your home in preparation. Doing so can save you a great deal of time, money, and discomfort with a few proactive measures.
Today, we’re going to cover some essential home winterization tips to keep in mind. First, let’s start by fixing any indoor sources of drafts.
Check Your House for Drafts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30% of heat loss can be caused by window drafts. Check your windows and make sure all seals are tight. Place your hand in front of any points of opening, like the bottom of the window, and feel for any cool air that is entering your home.
To prevent drafts and keep warm air from escaping your home, you could also seal your windows for the winter. To do this, purchase insulation film from a local hardware store. Then, follow these steps:
- Measure the dimensions of your windows so you can cut the film accurately
- Apply fresh caulk to any seams in the window that are not sealed and could be causing drafts
- Cut the film so that it is 5 inches longer than the dimensions of your windows on each side.
- Apply adhesive tape around the border of your window frame.
- Firmly press the film against the adhesive.
- Use a regular hair dryer to heat the film. Make sure it is set to high heat and held about 4 inches away from the plastic.
You can also use a common draft stopper on the bottom of your doorways if you are worried about them letting in drafts. These long, cushion-like objects are placed along the bottom of your door and can be left there indefinitely until the weather warms up again.
Winterize Your Home’s Outdoor Plumbing
If you live in an area where winter temperatures fall below freezing, you should winterize your pipes to prevent them from freezing. If they freeze, this can cost pipe bursts which are both expensive and time-consuming to repair.
There are different approaches you can take to winterizing indoor and outdoor pipes. These include:
For Outdoor Pipes
Be sure to disconnect any outdoor hoses and put them in storage for the season. After this, turn off the outdoor water supply, allowing outdoor water sources to drip dry. Once completely dry, use a common faucet sock to insulate exterior hose spouts or faucets.
For Indoor Pipes
There are a few simple ways to insulate your indoor pipes. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Wrapping your pipes with foam pipe insulators
- Maintaining an indoor air temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Sealing any sources of drafts
Fix Cracked Concrete
If water enters cracks and freezes, it will continue to expand. Fix the cracks while the temperatures are still moderate to avoid this problem.
Prepare Your Outdoor Furniture
Cover your outdoor furniture with a tarp and place it inside your garage or shed. Harsh winter weather can put unwanted wear and tear on your furniture and can shorten its lifespan significantly.
Change Your Vent Filters
Clogged vent filters can make it difficult to maintain a desirable temperature in your home. Check each one for any signs of blockage and promptly remove it. This will improve the circulation of warm air and help keep you more comfortable as well as protect your pipes from freezing.
Inspect and Test Winter Equipment
Inspect all of your winter equipment to ensure it is ready for winter. From the condition of your snow shovels to a large snow blower or snow plow, don’t overlook any of your items that could help you with snow removal when the time comes.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn before winter can help keep your grass healthy and prevent it from suffering winter damage. Come spring, your fertilized lawn will grow back greener and healthier as a result.
Remove Window A/C Units
Remove window air conditioning units from your home and store them away for the winter. This will prevent them from enduring the harsh elements and allow you to fully close your window to prevent a chance of drafts.
With these tips, we hope this can help you prepare your home for the winter ahead. If you have any more questions about preventing damage to your home during the cold months, contact us anytime.