Winter can be both a beautiful and dreaded season for homeowners. It often arrives with various weather challenges that may affect your home. Snow, ice, cold temperatures, and other harsh elements can cause problems in your house or impact your energy bills if you are not prepared. If you are new to an area or a long-term occupant, the steps below will help you winterize your home while the weather is still mild.
Schedule a Heating Check-Up
Schedule a service call for your furnace and HVAC system before the winter season storms in. A professional will check for leaks and blockages in and around vents and pipes while also maximizing the efficiency of your system, cleaning or replacing air filters and verifying thermostat functionality.
Prepare Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are a problem homeowners face during the winter season. This can be the case even if you live in a relatively temperate climate. You can prepare for this by carrying out a full pipe check on your property. Walk around your home to inspect the visible pipes. Search for pipes that have cracks or any access points where cold air can come in. Seal any openings you find with caulk, insulation foam, or aluminum tape (as appropriate). If your home is older, you may consider using heat tape around exposed pipes as a precaution.
Seal Windows, Doors and the Attic
Sealing areas around your door frames, windows and attic openings where cold air may come through can help keep your heat inside where it belongs. There are inexpensive, effective materials like plastic, foam, vinyl, and felt that can be used for this purpose. If you’re unsure about where to begin, speak to a professional about what material and application method is best for the area you’re hoping to seal. If you are interested in a more in-depth assessment, your local utility provider may offer an inspection service to help you keep your energy costs low.
Get Smart with Your Thermostat
A smart thermostat could be a helpful addition to your home. These work by adjusting to your heating needs — raising the temperature when your household calls for it and lowering the temperature while you’re sleeping or away at work or school. Smart thermostats can help to improve energy efficiency as they learn your schedule.