Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the leafless trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost in the morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, there's still time. Use these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Home's Heating
Your furnace has been dormant all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, arrange for a visit from a qualified technician to evaluate, clean and tune up the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in great shape through the years is to enroll in a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Get a professional to inspect and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger 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 prepare to run your furnace more often, search for and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The best way to find leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that could be leaky, such as near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks up 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 circulate warm air down to the living space in the winter. For best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This tactic is ideal for stairwells and rooms with high ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
A different way to winterize your home is to exchange thin, summery window coverings for heavy, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun can warm your home for free. Then, pull the curtains after dark for increased insulation against the brisk night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature falls, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to minimize the risk. Electric heat tape under the insulation provides an extra layer of protection in especially 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. Be careful with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functioning. Then, put in CO detectors on every floor of your home, primarily close to sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month and replace the batteries twice yearly.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by getting a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a modern option with the capability to 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 appear along the eaves, stopping melted snow from melting off the roof. Left unaddressed, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Try these tips to deter ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can flow like it's supposed to.
- Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further decrease 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 the house, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Close By
Slips and falls are notably common in cold winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe for pedestrians by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer on the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for proper application tips and any potential precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Peitz Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate closely to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing equipment. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Peitz Service Experts. We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for cold weather. For more info about our services or to arrange an estimate, please contact your local Peitz Service Experts office today.