Winter is finally here. You can tell by the bare trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost in the morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, there's still time. Run through these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment
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 affordable way to keep your heating system in great shape through the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Get a professional to inspect and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once per year. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can result in 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, try to find and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that could be leaky, like near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you've found 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 distribute warm air down to the living space during the winter. For the best results, set your fans on low and run them in reverse. This strategy is most effective in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
An additional way to winterize your home is to trade out light, summery window coverings for heavy, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for added insulation against the frigid night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature drops, exposed pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape beneath the insulation provides an additional layer of protection in very 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 during the winter. Be careful with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, put in CO detectors on every floor of your home, primarily outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by installing a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at various times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a modern option with the capability to adjust the settings remotely with an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that form along the eaves, preventing melted snow from melting off the roof. Left alone, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Use these tips to prevent ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from underneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further reduce heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork running through the attic.
- Make sure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside the house, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Handy
Slips and falls are particularly common in cold winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer along the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for specific application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Peachtree Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate primarily to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, contact Peachtree Service Experts. We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for cold weather. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Peachtree Service Experts office today.