Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather

Written by  //  August 24, 2015  //  Home Heating Cooling  //  Comments Off on Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather

According to a recent Scientific America report, global winter patterns are becoming weirder and more extreme. Winterizing your home involves many important tasks and inspections that should not be delayed. Below introduces four ways that you can prepare your home for the likely bizarre winter weather.

Interior Preparation

Inspect all insulation in the attic, basement and crawl spaces for any holes or gaps. Since heat rises, it never hurts to add more fiberglass insulation to the attic. Even more important, too much heat escaping through the roof may cause the fallen snow to melt, re-freeze and form an ice blanket. Insulating the garages will help stop pipes from freezing.

If you have a wood stove, give it a proper cleaning and have a professional clean the chimney. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand. Keep in mind that fire extinguishers should be inspected every month and also shaken upside down, which will keep the materials inside from settling. If you have a stove, consider installing nearby smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Exterior Preparation

Use water resistant caulk on any window or door cracks. Consider adding weather stripping to doors and windows. If financially possible, consider installing storm windows or upgrading to double-paned windows. Homeowners on a budget can simply apply winter plastic wrap on the insides of windows. Exposed pipes, such as those under the home, should be wrapped with heat tape or foam insulation.

Close any outside vents and properly store the water hose. Repair any roof leaks or replace any loose or damaged shingles. Clean the gutters and make sure the gutter guard mesh is in good condition. Consider removing any tree branches that have grown too close to your home. Perform basic maintenance on your snow-removal equipment. Finally, many homeowners find it helpful to install an easy-to-read outdoor thermometer.

HVAC Preparation

Your energy bill is sure to start climbing once the cold weather starts. Therefore, be sure to inspect your HVAC system, especially the AC, for any problems. For example, inspect the heating ducts for any dents or holes, which allow hot air to escape and blow dust into your home. Be sure to check the windows for signs of moisture as this means the AC may not be functioning properly. Inspect the AC for any obvious problems, such as repetitive clanking or rattling sounds.

Perform basic maintenance, such as inspecting the blower belt for cracks, oiling the blower motor and checking the blower doors for any openings. Either rinse and clean the filter or install a new one. Keep in mind that filters need to be replaced at least every three months. This will ensure proper air flow and high quality air in your home. Finally, consider installing an AC cover, as this will protect your unit from dirt, snow and the effects of extreme weather.

Important Supplies

Be sure to have eco-friendly ice-melting products and sand spreaders on hand. Snow shovels and ice scrapers are tools that no homeowner can do without. If you live in an area that experiences extreme winters, consider purchasing a snow blower. Purchasing a back-up power source, such as a portable generator, will give you peace of mind and ensure that your home won’t go without a working AC or sump pump. Make sure that you have the right tools and equipment to fix any minor home problems.

In summary, preparing your home for winter will save you money and avoid problems. Home weatherization begins through internal and external preparation. As part of this, you should perform an inspection and basic maintenance on your HVAC system. Finally, be sure to stock up on necessary supplies.

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