Early Home Winterizing: Places You Might Need to Patch Up
During the last heat wave of summer, it’s easy to forget winter weather is right around the corner. Now is the time to get ready for the coming cold by winterizing your property, instead of attempting to do repairs once the weather has already taken a turn. Here are some projects that will keep your home warmer, lower your energy consumption, or simply make the winter more bearable.
Have Your Fireplace Serviced
A chimney sweep will not only ensure the heat of the fireplace is used efficiently, it can also prevent a devastating chimney fire. This is especially important if you have a blower on your fireplace, or you have fires often during the cold months.
Check Your Furnace Ahead of Time
The first few days of cold weather, furnace repair outfits receive a never-ending succession of calls. If something is wrong with your furnace, you could wait a week or more for service. Do yourself a favor and choose a time right before you’re due to leave the house. Cut off the AC and flick on the heat. You need only let it run long enough to ensure it’s blowing warm air in. You can then shut it back off and leave the house while it cools down.
Seal or Replace Your Windows
Closely inspect your windows. There should be no cracks around the frame, and they should have more than one pane of glass. You should be able to close them firmly and not feel any air moving through and curtains or blinds should not move when the wind blows outside with the windows shut. If necessary, consider replacing any old or warped windows. You may need to caulk around them, or even start using shrink-wrap window treatments to create a more secure seal.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Most people follow a set schedule that has them leaving the house around the same time and returning again each weekday. If this is your routine, a programmable thermostat can save you a ton of money by lowering the heat when you’re gone, and automatically warming the house right before you come back. Consider it an investment for winter and summer!
Put Weather-stripping around Your Doors
Air can leech under your doors and around the frame, making for drafts and high heating costs. Weather-stripping these areas will allow the door to form a tight seal and trap heat inside. To find cracks, have a friend go outside in the evening with a flashlight and shine the light all around the frame. If you can see the light from inside with the interior lighting turned off, you’ll know just where to apply the weather-strip.
Arrange for Snow Removal Ahead of Time
Snow removal services help lower the risk of falls, and can relieve you of a lot of backbreaking labor during busy winter months. Check with BBB Business reviews and get quotes for snow removal in St. Louis or your surrounding area. Prices will only increase later, especially if your area received a larger-than-normal amount of snow.
Inspect Your Basement or Crawlspace
Look for cracks and holes that could provide a way in for rodents and other pests to get inside during winter. Make sure there are no insulation or cardboard boxes lying around that would make for an inviting nest. Outside, remove leaves and other nest-making materials away from the house. If you find holes or cracks, patch them properly. If you live in an area where ticks, bedbugs, yard fleas, or other pests thrive, sprinkle diatomaceous earth inside. It’s safe for children and pets, yet destroys the exoskeletons of a host of pests.
Readying your house for winter ahead of schedule is a savvy move. Not only can you ensure your house is ready for the upcoming weather, you can save money while you prepare.