Whether you've winterizing your home in the past or it's your first year in your new residence, utilize this checklist to get ready for the chilly weather.
Add Weather Stripping to Doors and Windows - Weather stripping or the installation of storm doors and windows can prevent cold air from entering your home and keep heat from escaping, ultimately reducing your energy bills. Additionally, door sweeps offer an effective and simple solution to keep the cold at bay.
Clean the Gutters - Gutter cleaning in your winter preparation is crucial. A general guideline is to clean the gutters right after the last leaves have fallen in autumn. To avoid clogging, thoroughly inspect and clean the gutters of leaves and debris. Clean gutters ensure proper drainage for melting snow as well.
Block the Cold | Caulk Windows - Apply caulk around windows and utilize foam outlet protectors to block cold air from entering your home. It's important to note that a significant amount of heat loss often occurs through openings in the attic. Verify that you have sufficient insulation to address this concern.
Get a Programmable Thermostat - During the winter, the Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home. Lower the thermostat by a few degrees when you're away or sleeping. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat, allowing you to customize your heating schedule, preventing the system from running unnecessarily and keeping your home comfortable while reducing energy bills.
Store and Cover Grills & Outdoor Furniture - Harsh cold temperatures, snow, and ice pose a risk of damaging outdoor furniture and grills. Ideally, store them in the garage or basement. For gas grills with propane tanks, ensure to close the tank valve and disconnect the tank before storing it outside. If storage space is limited, consider acquiring covers to shield your items from the elements. Additionally, it's essential to properly maintain and cover your grill before putting it away for the season.
Clean Furnace Filter - Maintaining a clean filter is crucial for the efficient operation of your furnace. A dirty filter, clogged with lint, pollen, dust, and other particles, hinders airflow and forces your furnace to run for extended periods to heat your home. It is advisable to replace filters at least every three months to ensure optimal performance.
Install Thermal Lined Curtains or Drapes - To prevent cold air from seeping in through window cracks, replace lightweight summer curtains with thermal-lined curtains or drapes. These additions will not only keep your home warm but also contribute to reducing your heating bill. For windows not receiving direct sunlight, keep the curtains or drapes closed to retain the warmth inside and keep the cold air out.
Protect Your Pipes - For the winter season, safeguarding your pipes from bursting is essential, and the approach may vary depending on your location in the United States. Utilize tubular pipe wrap, rolled pipe wrap, and insulation fittings to provide the necessary protection for your pipes.
Check the Attic and Ceilings for Staining from Water Leakage - Winter's harsh elements like snow, rain, ice, and wind can pose challenges for your home, with the roof being of particular concern. Take proactive steps to winterize your roof by checking the attic and ceilings for any staining indicating water leakage. Ensure proper attic ventilation to prevent mold and mildew.
Install Snow Guards and Roof Heat Cables - Prevent the formation of ice dams by installing snow guards and roof heat cables.