As cold weather approaches, it is important to take a few preventative measures to protect your home through the chilly months. Winterizing is generally a task that can be done relatively inexpensively, but will make a big difference in how comfortable your home is, and could end up saving you money on energy bills, too. In fact, many very effective home weatherproofing jobs are something that homeowners can complete without professional help
- Protect your Pipes! Keep them from freezing. - Simple steps will prevent a big plumber bill come this winter. Insulating your pipes reduces heat loss and can raise hot water temperatures delivered through your pipes, which allows you to reduce the heat on your boiler. This will not only save you money on your gas bill, but will make your pipes energy efficient, you also don’t have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on the shower, which helps conserve water and time. And who doesn’t need more time? You can get pre-slit pipe foam at the hardware store. Simply cut the foam to the length you need, wrap it around the pipe, and fasten it in place with duct tape.
Most important: Know where your water main shut off valve is!
- Keep the cold outside where it belongs. The majority of heat loss is through the attic. Check to make sure you have enough insulation. Not sure? Contact BHI360 at 631.291.7779 to determine the R-Value.
- Plants don’t like the cold. - Remember to bring in your plants and flowering trees before the temps drop below 45 degrees.
- Time to put the lawn mower away and bring out the snow blower - inspect your snow blower to make sure it’s working property. Make sure you have enough gas to get you through that first snow storm.
- Having thoughts of dreaming by the fireplace? Before your dreams turn into nightmares, check to make sure your chimney is clear of animal nests or creosote.
- Your AC unit has been taking care of you all summer, now it’s time to return the favor. Drain any hoses and air conditioning pipes, making sure there is no water pooling in the system. Remember to take them out of the windows to prevent heat escaping or get plastic exterior covers for wall units.
- Take the time trim your trees. Look for outside branches that are hanging over your house, driveway, windows, etc...cut them back so the heavy ice and snow won’t weigh them down and potentially cause expensive damage.
- Check those smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep your family and pets safe, check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change them if needed.
- Clean your gutters. What is fall without leaves on the ground...and in your gutters? Clogged gutters can lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof which occur when water backs up and freezes near the edge of the roof. Not only do these ice dams start pooling water which can begin to seep into your house, causing water damage, but the weight of the ice weighs down your gutters and can eventually lead them to crack and break. Prevent ice dams, clean out the dead leaves and other gunk in your gutters so water can drain freely. 🙂
Hopefully you have found these winterizing tips to be helpful. Stay tuned next week on tips on How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill.