“Home is where the heat is.” It’s also a safe and comfortable place. If you’re wondering how to keep your home cozy and efficient this winter, we have a few tips on how to winterize your home.
We admire creativity, but don’t recommend you try something you came up with before running it by a professional. That’s why our team at TH Remodeling compiled a couple ideas – this is completely free knowledge!
Here are a few clever ways, that won’t break the bank, for the “do it yourselfers” to winterize home:
- Reverse Ceiling Fans: Yes, it’s that easy. Switching the direction your ceiling fan rotates to a clockwise motion will help circulate the rising heat.
- Eliminate Drafts (and decorate!): The U.S. Department of Energy says 5-30% of your energy use is wasted because of drafts, likely from doors and windows. Here’s where a draft snake comes to play. A draft snake is an easy, crafty, and efficient way to block drafts. If you can’t afford to buy one, just place a bath towel at the base of your door; Or get inventive with ideas like stuffing the leg of an old pair of jeans with rice and sewing the ends.
- Wrap Your Pipes: Insulating your pipes will prevent the possible nightmare of water freezing. Even more, pipe insulation will reduce heat loss and can increase hot water temperatures. Most hardware stores carry pre-slit pipe foam, all you have to do is cut it, wrap it, and seal it with duct tape.
- Window Plastic/Insulation Film: Inexpensive and a simple project to take on yourself, window insulation kits will add an extra defense to your windows. Save more heat and money with a film or a plastic shield.
- Caulk Windows: Minimize air leaks by filling any gaps in your window’s frame with caulk. This can be done for siding and doors too.
- Use Pantyhose: You read that correctly, pantyhose. Simply fill a pair with ice melting tablets and line the tights in your gutter. Taking this measure will prevent ice damming. Ladders are risky, so please don’t try this without a friend (preferably one without judgement).
- Turn Off Exterior Water Spigots: Don’t forget the outside water faucets. Make sure to disconnect your garden hose and drain any leftover water from the pipes.
- Replace Your Furnace Filter: Having a dirty filter can interfere with how well your furnace is performing. An old filter slows air flow and increases the amount of energy your home is using. Try replacing the filter once a month during the heating season.
- Layer Up: Put a sweater on and turn the heat down!
- Be Prepared For Emergencies:
- Check Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors: For your own safety, check your alarms once a month and replace the batteries twice a year.
- 72 Hour Kit: These are emergency essentials you can put together yourself or buy a pre-made kit. Don’t be stuck when you get stuck, be ready for scenarios like power loss or unsatisfactory road conditions.
- Trim Trees and Branches: Snow and ice will collect on branches. An easy way to prevent damage to your roof, windows, and even a parked car in the driveway is to trim any trees close to the house.
CHECKLIST TO WINTERIZE WITH AN EXPERT:
- HVAC Inspection: To get the most out of your heating system, have a professional inspect your furnace. An HVAC professional will tune-up your heating system to ensure it’s working at its full potential – safely and effectively. Not maintaining the heating system will cost you more in the long run.
- Clear Gutter: Leaves and other blockages in the gutter stop water from draining properly. As a result, your home can exhibit water damage and be at risk of ice dams.
- Chimney Inspection: The idea of having your chimney inspected is twofold; some experts believe it’s necessary while others, not so much.
- Do: Those who push for its annual cleaning argue that though a chimney may look in good condition, its interior could be filled with harmful creosote. Without proper disposal, creosote can trap carbon monoxide. Even a chimney that isn’t frequently used could be damaged by heavy rains or occupied by birds’ nests and critters.
- Don’t: Don’t get scammed – Other professionals aren’t convinced the chimney is in need of an inspection every year. Just like the “3,000 mile myth,” your chimney can stand a while longer, and you car won’t need an oil change five times a year. Burn logs with a low moisture content, avoid artificial wood, and monitor the amount of deposit. There are even a few ways to clean the chimney yourself, so you can dodge burly men with metal brushes and a high price tag.
To learn more about how to improve your home, or for a free estimate, call TH Remodeling & Renovations 1-845-567-9743.