As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, the increasing energy bills give good motivation to prepare your home for winter more thoroughly. Improving the insulation of your home is an important step, but there are also some additional winterizing tips that could save you some serious bills and headaches.
Seal Your Doors and Windows: One of the weak points in many homes is the windows and doors, where cold air often seeps in and drafts are created. Use your open hand to feel around the edges of your doors and windows to see if you can detect any places where cold air is entering. A lit candle could help you identify drafts. If you find any cracks around the trim or frame of a window, seal them with caulk. If a door is not sealed well, purchase a roll of stick-on weatherstripping to close the gaps. Also, if there is a draft under the bottom of a door, install a draft-guard or threshold to seal the space.
A more effective solution might be to have your doors or windows upgraded to a more energy efficient model. This adds a fresh, attractive look to the home and will also save money in the long run by reducing heat loss.
Prepare Furnace and Fireplace: For your family’s safety, it is vital to protect yourselves from fire and carbon monoxide danger. Have an HVAC professional inspect and tune your furnace (which will also help it to run more efficiently) and have a chimney sweep clean your chimney. Also make sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around your home, and place several fire extinguishers in strategic, accessible locations.
Prevent Pipe Freezes: If you have any exposed pipes in an unheated part of your home, such as a crawlspace or attic, be sure to insulate them. Also disconnect and drain any garden hoses and put them away. If your exterior spigots are not a frost-free model, install insulation caps to keep them protected.
Prevent Ice-Dams & Gutter Blockage: If your gutters or downspouts are clogged with leaves or debris, be sure to clear them out well. Also, consider installing deicing cables, which will prevent your gutters and the lower portion of the roof from becoming blocked with ice, which can destroy gutters and create leaks in roofs.
If you don’t have the time or are unable to perform this vital maintenance on your own, consider hiring a professional. A painting contractor has the necessary experience and equipment to seal your doors and windows and protect your gutters.