Winter has arrived. You can tell by the leafless trees, early nights, and layer of frost each morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it isn’t too late. Use these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment
Your furnace has been inactive all summer. To get it ready for another heating season, request a visit from a qualified technician to inspect, clean and tune up the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape over the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Hire a professional to inspect and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can result in chimney fires. It also grants you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you get ready to run your furnace all winter, look for and seal air leaks that allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick near areas that may be leaky, including near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.
4. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans keep you cool in the summer, but they can also disperse warm air down to the living space during the winter. For the best results, set your fans on low and run them in reverse. This strategy is ideal for stairwells and rooms with tall ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
A different way to winterize your home is to exchange delicate, summery window coverings for thicker, insulating drapes. Be sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun can warm your home for free. Then, close the curtains after dark for added insulation against the cold night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature drops, exposed pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape underneath the insulation provides an added layer of protection in very cold climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances increases the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter. Use caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, particularly close to sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month and swap out the batteries every six months.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by getting a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature throughout the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a high-tech option that lets you modify the settings remotely using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance tips.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, preventing melted snow from draining off the roof. When ignored, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Try these tips to avoid ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from underneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop heated air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further restrict heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork inside the attic.
- Ensure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Handy
Slips and falls are more common in icy winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe for pedestrians by scattering salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer on the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Be sure to read the directions for correct application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Eveready Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate primarily to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, call Eveready Service Experts . We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare the house for winter. For more info about our services or to schedule an estimate, please contact your local Eveready Service Experts office today.