Winter has arrived. You can tell by the leafless trees, early evenings, and layer of frost each morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you still have time. Run through these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.
1. Schedule Maintenance for Your Home's Heating
Your furnace has been dormant all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, schedule a visit from a qualified technician to evaluate, clean and tune up the equipment. The most affordable way to keep your heating system in good shape over time is to sign up for a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Call a professional to evaluate and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once per year. This service takes care of ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can result in chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you prepare to run your furnace all winter, look for and seal air leaks that allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The best way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that may be leaky, like near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.
4. Use Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans keep you cool over the summer, but they can also circulate warm air down to the living space during the winter. For better results, set your fans on low and run them in reverse. This method is ideal for stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
Another way to winterize your home is to trade out thin, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Be sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun can warm your home for free. Then, pull the curtains after dark for additional insulation against the frigid night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature falls, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Install foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to minimize the risk. Electric heat tape under the insulation gives you an added layer of protection in especially cold climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances raises the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter. Exercise caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functional. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, particularly near sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month and change the batteries twice a year.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by upgrading to a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at various times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a modern option that lets you change the settings remotely with an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that appear along the eaves, preventing melted snow from falling off the roof. Left unaddressed, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage things in the attic. Use these tips to avoid ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can flow like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to prevent heat buildup that can melt snow from underneath.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further decrease heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork up in the attic.
- Ensure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside the house, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Close By
Slips and falls are more common in icy winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer on the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Don't forget to read the directions for specific application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Comfortech Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate closely to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, call Comfortech Service Experts . We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing work, and other services to prepare your home for winter. For more details about our services or to schedule an estimate, please contact your local Comfortech Service Experts office today.