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Winterize Your Home Today to Prepare for Chilly Weather

by B.Annie on September 4, 2018

Winter is coming! Well, not just yet, but as quickly as the Halloween candy and holiday decorations make their appearance, so do the cold temperatures. It’s not too early to be proactive and start thinking about how to prepare. A great first step is to winterize your home.

What does winterization mean?

By definition, winterization simply means, preparing something for winter. For homeowners, it’s making the necessary home improvements, modifications, or repairs to ensure that their home can adequately withstand the freezing cold temperatures.  By preparing your home for winter, you can avoid costly home repairs, as well as keep those monthly utility bills down. To do this, there a number of things homeowners can do.

Clean your gutters

It is typically recommended that your gutter systems be cleaned once every six months, and one of the best times to do it is before winter. Large debris should be removed and you should  inspect for cracks and leaks. If a crack or leak is found, these should be fixed or replaced before winter. Some homeowners prefer to do this themselves, or you may hire professionals to do it as well.

Furnace inspection

There is nothing better in the winter time, than your warm, cozy house. Before the cold temperatures arrive, hire an HVAC professional, like Winstar,  to inspect your furnace and clean the ducts. Make sure that you have enough furnace filters and remember to change them monthly. Constant use of the furnace during the winter will make the filters dirty, and changing them will ensure that the air blowing throughout your home is clean.

Protect your pipes from freezing

Pipes are incredibly susceptible to freezing during the winter time. When they accumulate ice and expand, this can cause them to burst, wreaking havoc on your home and wallet. Proper insulation is the first line of defense for protecting your pipes during the chilly periods.  Insulate exposed piping in all unheated areas, as these are the most likely to freeze. Winterizing your plumbing also includes shutting off your outdoor water supply such as sprinkler systems, and draining them. If you going away to be away from your home for extended period of time, make sure to turn off you water main valve and drain your plumbing system.

Check your fireplace

Get your fireplace ready by having it cleaned and inspected by professionals. By having your fireplace examined annually, especially before winter time, could prevent issues that cause unwanted fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and possible structural damage.

Storm doors and windows

It has been reported that storm doors and windows have the potential to increase the energy efficiency in your home by 45%. They can be an important defense against cold winds and blowing snow, as they act as the first barrier to weather. Federal tax credits may be available to help compensate the cost of installation.

Inspect the trees on your property

One of the neglected steps in winterizing your home is eliminating the dead limbs from the trees on your property. When an ice, snow, or rain storm hits, dead branches may be ripped away from the tree and cause extensive damage to anything beneath it, including your home. To avoid the potential threat, it is important to trim the dead branches before the treacherous weather arrives.

Reverse ceiling fans

You can winterize your ceiling fans simply running them in the opposite direction. A fan moving counterclockwise creates a cooling effect. By running them clockwise during the wintertime, this recirculates the hot air and pushes it downward to floor level. The experienced technicians at Winstar are knowledgeable about the installation and repair of ceiling fans

Programmable thermostats

Installing a programmable thermostat in your home, if you don’t already have one, can customize your heating for set temperatures while you come and go from the home. It also saves energy, as well as money from your monthly utility bills.

Eliminate air and water leakage points

Most homes, even new ones, have small cracks and openings near doors and windows that can allow heat to escape, and cold air to breeze on in. Prior to the wintertime, you should inspect your home for places that your warm air could escape, and use caulking, weather stripping tape, or draft guards to seal them up. Having a professional inspect your roof for potential leaks, and/or moss buildup at least one a year, can help prevent unwanted snow leaking into your home and causing more extensive roof damage.

Protect your plants

Part of winterizing your home is to care for your outdoor potted plants. It is recommended that you bring your plants inside your home before the temperature reaches 45 degrees for the first time.

Bring in the outdoors

To prevent damage to outdoor furniture and grills, it is important to bring them inside and store them in a garage or basement before the first snowfall. Keeping them protected will extend their life and help with wear and tear.

One final way to prepare, is to make sure you have your snow shovels and ice scrapers! It sounds so simple, but how many times have you run out the night before an impending snowstorm, only to find empty shelves? Winterizing your home does take some time and a few steps. However the payoff for your home can be significant.  Winterizing is just one way to protect and care for your home. For other home service and care, be sure to contact Winstar services. We are available all year round!