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Preparing Your Home for Winter

By October 19, 2012April 16th, 2021No Comments

During the fall, most of us are focused on holidays, pumpkins, apples, or fall foliage.

However, you should be focusing on preparing your home for winter. Autumn is an excellent time for preparing your home for winter because temperatures are just beginning to drop but you still have time before the chill really sets in to prepare. Check areas around the house such as insulation, pipes, chimney, ducts, windows, and gutters. These areas are crucial for preparing your home for winter because they are seasonal upkeeps can be detrimental to the safety of your home if neglected.

From bursting pipes to drafty holes, a variety of mishaps can happen if you aren’t correctly preparing your home for winter. Taking simple steps for preparing your home for winter can make a drastic difference in your budget and chore list. Tasks involved with preparing your home for winter are crucial to cutting unnecessary costs and proving a safe home. For example, simply fill holes where cold air can enter to sustain a warm house while saving money. The following article from DIY-HQ provides tips for preparing your home for winter.

Preparing Your Home for Winter

The best time of year for preparing your home for winter is in the fall.  Temperatures will begin to fall, and you will need to winterize your home before they dip too low.   There are many different things you will need to do when preparing your home for winter to prevent problems from occurring during the cold winter months.

Preparing your Home for Winter Checklist

Inspect Furnace
Inspect your furnace to ensure it will be running properly when you need it the most.  First, turn on the furnace to make sure it is working.  It is recommended that you contact a HVAC professional to inspect and clean the ducts.

Sometimes, the pilot light will burn out, or you may need a couple thermal.  If you are not comfortable making these repairs, then contact a professional. You will need to replace any filters.  Filters should be replaced every 30 days that the furnace is running.   Filters that are dirty will reduce the efficiency of your furnace by reducing air flow.

Clean Gutters
After the leaves have fallen, remove any debris from the gutters.  Once you have eliminated the leaves, rinse them out with the hose.  Drains that are clogged can create ice dams.  This is where water backs up and freezes, which causes water to leak into the house.

Fill Holes
This is one of the best things you can do when preparing your home for winter.  Filling up small holes can also help save you money on heating bills.  Fill up those holes with caulk, or you can apply tacky rope caulk.  Buy door sweeps to help close up the spaces under the doors.  Install outlet gaskets in electrical outlets that share an outer wall.  Seal holes from the outside with weather resistant caulk.  If there is brick, use masonry sealer.

Winterizing your Home Insulation
Make sure you have enough insulation in the attic.  You should have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic.  Go to the attic and if you can see ceiling joists, you likely do not have enough insulation because a ceiling joist is at least 10 to 11 inches.  If you are trying to add insulation on top of existing insulation, do not use one that has paper backing.  It will act as a vapor barrier, which can cause moisture in your insulation.

Check Duct work
If the duct work is not well-connected and insulated, homes can lose up to 60% of heat before the air will reach the vents.  This can lead to an expensive winter and a cold home.  Inspect the ductwork.  Make repairs where the pipes are pinched.  They should also be vacuumed every few years to prevent dust, animal hair, and other particles that can cause respiratory problems.

Winterizing Windows
Take down window screens and put up storm windows.  This gives you an extra layer of protection against the cold winter weather.  If you do not have storm windows, there are some other ways for winterizing windows.  Purchase a window insulator kit, which will consist of plastic sheeting that will be affixed to the window’s interior with double stick tape.   Use a hair dryer to shrink-wrap the plastic sheeting.  This is one of the least expensive ways for winterizing windows. See installing weather stripping.

Clean Chimney
This is very important when preparing your home for winter, especially if you use the chimney on a regular basis.  An unclean chimney is a serious fire hazard. See the article related to fireplace cleaning tips.

Wrap Pipes
Prevent your pipes from bursting this winter by taking a few simple steps.  Shut the water off to the hose bibs inside the house.  Do this by turning off the valve.  Drain the lines.  Wrap pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation around pipes that are not insulated.

Check the crawlspace, basement, and garage. Drain all garden hoses and the air conditioner pipes.  If the air conditioner has a shut-off valve, turn it off.   Make sure to leave your heat set to at least 55 degrees if you plan on going on vacation to prevent the pipes from freezing.

These tips for preparing your home for winter are designed to help you prevent serious problems and repairs this winter.

Preparing your home for winter will save you an incredible amount time and money. It’s essential that when preparing your home for winter that you check places that would be restricting during cold months. When preparing your home for winter, check the furnace, gutters, holes, insulation, chimney, pipes, windows, basement, and attic. If something does go wrong in these places during the winter, it can be costly to have these repaired.

When you begin to feel a chill in the air during fall, it should remind you to begin preparing your home for winter. The chilly air is perfect weather to test out your furnace or fix it if needed. Cool breezes in fall allow you to locate where drafts are entering. Fall is a great time for preparing your home for winter because you can complete outside chores when the weather is still decent. You can clean out gutters and rinse them out with a hose before you shut the pipe valves. Taking in patio furniture is another great way to prepare for winter. Follow these steps for preparing your home for winter to have an effective, safe, and warm home.

For more information on preparing your home for winter or to purchase home improvement materials, please contact Camosse Masonry Supply. We’ll gladly address any concerns you may have.