Whether you have a brand new condo, a 1950s ranch, or a 19th century farmhouse, if you live in a cold climate, you need to know how to winterize your house.
South Source has compiled a list of tips that will help you make it through the winter safely, on a budget, and maybe even a little bit greener.
- Trim the Trees Around Your House – Snow and ice not only weigh on you house, they can also way down the 100 foot oak next to it. To prevent branches and other debris from crashing into your roof, gutters, or windows, trim back trees that hang over your home.
- Clean Your Gutter – No matter how much you trim back your trees, some leaves get into the gutters, and can cause a real problem when a clogged gutter becomes a frozen, heavy clog. To avoid damage to your roof and gutter, clean them out every fall.
- Find and Block Drafts – Even brand new homes have drafts. Use door sweeps, Window inserts, and Window Insulator Kits to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Replacing your screens with storm doors and windows will also block the winter weather from invading your home.
- Check Your Insulation – So, if you lose most of your body heat through your head, it makes sense that you’re losing your house heat through the attic. Add insulation to protect against heat loss. There should be about a foot of insulation in the attic, so if you can see your 10 inch ceiling joists, it’s time to get more.
- Have Your Heating System Serviced and Replace Air Filters Regularly – This may be an obvious one, but a smoothly running system heats your house using the least amount of energy, which is good for your wallet and for the environment.
- Check Your Duct Work – If you have central air, then there is duct work carrying the heated air around the house. Make sure the ducting is installed correctly with no gaps to ensure that the hot air isn’t lost along the way.
- Reverse Fans – Instead of pulling hot air up, like in the summer, reverse your fans to blow the hot air back into circulations, cutting energy costs.
- Wrap Your Pipes – Frozen pipes can burst, and burst pipes can cost a fortune to replace and to clean up the damage. Find the pipes in the home that pass through unheated areas, like crawlspaces, and insulate them with foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulations. In extreme cases, put heating tape on first to ensure that the pipe does not freeze.
- Winterize Your AC Unit – You’re not going to need it for a few months, so it makes sense to winterize. Winterizing your AC unit basically consists of getting all of the water out of it, and keeping new water from getting in. Drain all hoses, pumps, and the drain pan, and put a unit cover on to keep out the winter weather.
With a bit of effort, and a small monetary investment, your home will be fully winterized and ready for the season.
Author: Brendan Purves