- 04 Dec
Some Quick Tips to Winterize Your Home
As the frigid wintry weather approaches, it is important to take a few preventative measures to protect your home through the cold months. Winterizing can usually be done pretty cheaply, but it will make a huge difference in how comfortable your home is, and you can save money on your heating and energy bills too this winter. In addition, most of these weatherproofing jobs are something that homeowners can do without any professional help needed.
The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature in the wintertime. So install a programmable thermostat now, and save money by keeping the temp down when you’re not at home. Or keep the temp down and wear a sweater or hoodie around the house.
Windows are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to cold air entering and heat escaping. Especially in older homes, having solid weatherproof windows can make a big difference in your energy costs and how comfortable your living areas feel. It is recommended to get energy-efficient double paned windows. If you install weather stripping, it costs typically around $250, but in some cases, you may only need some caulk to weatherproof your windows. Lastly, the right window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows. You won’t mind the appearance when you’re toasty warm in your house!
Regularly Replace Filters
Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity, it costs about $20-35 for a pack of filters on average.
In a drafty room, heat escapes under the door. When you winterize your home, place draft guards by the doors to prevent heat loss. It’s an easy and cheap solution that keeps your house warm and saves you from wasting energy.
For maximum heat retention, pack fiberglass insulation in your attic, around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, and window AC units. Just remember to be careful and wear gloves! In addition, feel around electrical outlets and switch-plates for cold air, add insulation where necessary.
Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk. For extra drafty windows and doors, pull off moldings to fill all gaps in the insulation and caulk the inside too.
Clockwise Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are everyone’s favorite summer budget-saver. But they can help out in the winter as well! Have your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor. If they’re going counterclockwise, they won’t be as effective.
Flush Your Water Heater
Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit’s efficiency. From time to time, you need to flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. It is recommended to do this every fall or wintertime.
Clear out your gutters. This cannot be stressed enough. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later this winter season. It is recommended that you also check your gutters mid-winter season when it is mild weather in the 40s-50s if you can just in case it needs cleared again.
Disconnect any hoses from any outside spigots and turn off the water. Close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather. Have your snow shovel, snow plow, and other winter supplies handy and readily available before the messy weather hits. If you have a deck, give it a fresh coat of sealer to protect it from the winter elements. Be sure to clean chimneys and fireplaces early before the next blizzard blast.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.