While temperatures might be balmy and pleasant now, winter is always just around the corner. It’s important to make sure you’re ready for this chilly season by preparing your home. With a few simple precautions, you’ll be able to keep your house at a comfortable temperature while saving big on your energy bill.
Call an HVAC Specialist
The first thing you should do in most cases is to call an HVAC specialist to give your furnace an inspection. These appliances are essential for keeping you from freezing once the temperature drops, so you’ll want to make sure they’re working at an optimal level. An HVAC technician can inspect your HVAC system and resolve any problems before you’re stuck without heat on a -10-degree day.
Check Doors and Windows for Leaks
If you have older windows and doors in your home, there’s a good chance they have air leaks in them. While these tiny breezes of air might not seem like a huge deal in the summer, they can be harmful to your health and your finances in the winter. To resolve the issue, buy some weather stripping and apply in areas that are prone to let air in, which can also include air conditioner openings, vents, plumbing areas, and gas lines.
Inspect Your Attic Insulation
It’s a well-known fact that heat rises. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, the precious heat that you’re paying hundreds each month for will quickly escape your home. In fact, it’s thought that 25 percent of a home’s heat can escape through an attic that isn’t insulated correctly. Check to make sure you have at least an R30 rating for your insulation — anything less than that might allow warmth to escape.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are essential for keeping water away from your home. However, especially in the fall, they get clogged with falling leaves and other debris. When the temperatures drop, this can lead to dangerous blockages that can cause your whole system to get backed up. Instead of carrying water safely to another location, clogged gutters will allow water to run directly in front of your home, causing water damage. Therefore, do one last sweep of your gutters before the first frost.
Prepares Pipes for Harsh Temperatures
You aren’t the only one that benefits from having a heated home. Your pipes also need the heat to prevent them from freezing and bursting. In fact, the IIBHS estimates that a single burst pipe can amount to $5,000 in water damage. There are a few things you can do to prevent this, including keeping the temperature at a set minimum, even if you’re going on vacation. Additionally, consider wrapping pipes with insulation and letting the faucets drip continuously during extremely cold periods to keep things flowing.
Your home is meant to protect you during winter, but it can’t do so if you don’t if you haven’t given it the TLC it needs. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your next winter isn’t spent shivering on the couch.