Published on January 16, 2019
Winter is upon us, and in the southeast that means temperatures and daily hours of sunlight are dropping. Cold and freezing temperatures are a threat to your home, and damages from the cold can be quite expensive—not to mention inconvenient! Help protect your investment with these tips for winterizing your home this season.
Clean your chimney and order firewood
Do you have a fireplace? Using it regularly during winter great way to supplement your HVAC system and thus lower your heat bill. Be sure to order plenty of firewood early into the season and properly store it in a dry place—preferably somewhere you can access easily without having to venture too far into the cold. We recommend having your chimney cleaned every season for safety reasons. Again, make this appointment early in the season as these professionals understandably get busier and busier as the winter progresses.
Clean your gutters
During the preceding season of fall we tend to accumulate a lot of leaf litter in our gutters. As we enter into winter it’s a good idea to clear the gutters so that water can drain properly, so as to avoid any unnecessary freezing or bursting due to accumulated/backed up water.
Assess your yard for dead or dangerous trees
Winter can be a dangerous time for trees and landscaping. Due to the lack of water available in the soil, nature is a bit more susceptible to drying out and potentially dying. Add a windy, winter storm to the mix and the result could be fallen branches, limbs or trees. It’s a good idea to have a professional come by and assess your yard to identify and perhaps remove trees, limbs and branches that are already decaying and are therefore a threat to damaging your home or property.
Seal or insulate all windows, doors, pipes and ducts
A large percentage of heat is lost to drafty windows, doors and ducts. We recommend padding up insulation or applying additional caulking on windows and pipes. Prevent pipes from freezing or bursting by not only insulating, but allowing a little water to drain if you plan to be away from home for a significant amount of time in winter.
Also, window plastic is pretty much invisible and does a great job at keeping heat from escaping when applied correctly. Another classic way to seal up drafty door is the door snake. Make your own with any fabric and sand, or find an affordable store-made option at any home improvement store. As for your ducts, invite your HVAC specialist to come and give your system a once-over before winter is in full force.
Run fans in reverse
Ceiling fans are not only a great tool to keep your home cool, but can significantly help circulate heat throughout the home when ran in reverse. For cooling a room, the blades should run counter-clockwise. When warming a room, the blades should circulate clockwise. Many fans have the option to quickly change the direction but in some cases you may have to manually change the direction.
Buy new filters and keep backups on hand
Changing your air filter regularly is critical to keeping your HVAC system running efficiently, especially in the wintertime. During winter you are most likely spending more time indoors, thus creating more dust in the home that will accumulate faster in your filters this time of year. Avoid letting the filter get too full by always having a backup filter on hand.
It may sound like a no brainer, but a great way to cut down on overusing your heating system and thus your energy bill is to dress warmer. Rather than relying on your HVAC system to heat you, let your clothes help out! Investing in a warm robe and slippers can make a big difference.
It pays to winterize your home efficiently! The government offers many tax credits for energy homes including efficient windows, insulation, roofing, appliances, HVAC systems and more!
Do you have any tips for winterizing your home that we missed? Share them with our team today!