Like it or not, winter is coming.
I am one of the few and far between Southern gals who don’t mind the winter. I find it strangely cozy, and I want to nestle under blankets and drink cocoa and read books. My Mama says she will one day disown me because there is no way a child of her’s enjoys the winter. LOL. While I do enjoy the colder months and the snow, I also realize there is some preparation that comes with this season. I am sharing “5 Tips for Winterizing Your Home” that every homeowner should put to use.
5 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Okay, let’s be honest with each other. The winters we have here in eastern North Carolina are NOTHING like winters in Wisconsin, Colorado or other locales around the World. We have relatively mild winters in comparison. But, the truth is – when the temps dip below 32 degrees and especially when they fall into the low teens, the chances of Father Winter taking a hard toll on your home is almost assured.
There are some basic steps that every homeowner should take to prepare for the colder months. We will start with our tips to prep before a hard freeze sits in. Let’s get going…
1.) First and foremost, we have our HVAC serviced.
We have our system serviced twice a year, just before summer in the springtime, and just before winter in the fall. Having your unit serviced is quick, easy and cost efficient, when you consider a “well-oiled machine” will run more proficiently to help keep your power bill down. Lennox®& nbsp;suggests that you also replace air filters at least once every three months. Dirty filters can cause your system to work harder, resulting in lower efficiency. This is especially true in colder months when your system is already under tremendous strain to keep up with the colder temperatures. For even more tips and suggestions for keeping your HVAC system in top-shape and prepare for the winter months visit Lennox® Facebook page.< /p>
2) Protect your outdoor faucets and pipes:
As a homeowner and Landlord, I can’t tell you how many calls we have received at 3am or 6am from a tenant letting us know they had no water or that water was pouring out of the home. After enough of these calls, we finally figured out that if we purchased and installed foam faucet protectors for all of the properties, it almost reduced the middle of the night calls to zero. For any exposed pipes, we simply use some insulation and towels or old blankets secured with duct tape. Again, an easy and quick solution that will save you lots of hassle and repair expenses.
3.) Clean your gutters:
One of the most common culprits of home damage in the Winter time is water damage. Clogged gutters raise the risk of water damage when they are filled with leaves and debris and cannot drain well. Cleaning the gutters is a DIY job as long as excess care is used. We generally hire ours done.
4.) Check the interior of winter drafts:
Believe it or not, the easiest way to check for drafts around windows and doors is with a candle or lighter. Windows may need to be re-caulked and doors may need new weather stripping which is incredibly easy to replace and install yourself. Another major source for heat loss is somewhere you may not even realize- interior outlets and switches.
Several years ago, we spent a few hours installing foam insulators behind all of the outlets and switch plates. This is another easy and inexpensive fix that can make a huge difference on your power bill.
5.) Have your chimney cleaned:
Not everyone has or uses a wood-burning fireplace, but if you do – it is super important that you get the chimney and flue professionally cleaned prior to use. I cannot stress the word “professionally” enough. This is definitely not a DIY job. Many house fires are started every year because of built up debris and old bird’s nests in the chimney.
These are just my top 5 tips to winterize your home.
Here are a few more items on our “Winterizing Check-List” we try to complete each fall:
~ Reverse the flow of ceiling fans so that the warmer air is pushed down, versus pulled up.
~ Turn off all exterior water sources to prevent freezing and/or burst pipes.
~ Check your roof to make sure shingles and shingle tabs are all in good shape. Melting snow can easily get into and under these openings causing major water damage.
~ Check exterior steps, handrails and lighting. You want safe passages and well-lit areas when it’s icy or snow is on the ground.
~ Stock up on all winter supplies now, such as:
- LED batteries and flashlights
- LED candles
- Wood or Pellets for your stove
- Extra filters for the furnace
- Make sure the snow blower is in working order
- Ice melting salts
- Shovels and Ice scrapers
One final thing! We recently installed a touch-screen digital thermostat in our home. Lennox®& nbsp;offers the iComfort® S30: the smartest WiFi touch-screen thermostat on the market. Take advantage of Lennox® fall promotion with rebates up to $1600 on qualifying home comfort systems. You can go here —> to find a dealer.
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