Fall is such a pretty time of year. Beautiful sunny days with low humidity make it an enjoyable time for outings and get togethers. With all that sunshine and blue skies, you might not want to think about the winter days to come, but its important that you do.
Getting your home ready for winter not only provides you with a more comfortable home when those cold days begin, but it can save you a lot on your energy bills. But what are the best things to do to prepare your home for winter? Below are some suggestions to get you started on winterizing your home.
- Start outside. Disconnect and drain any garden drip systems or water hoses. If you have a rain barrel you will want to drain the water, clean and remove any debris, then store the rain barrel or turn upside down. Reconnect your gutter downspout to keep water directed away from your house.
- Clean out your rain gutters. If there are trees near your home, you will want to wait until all the leaves have fallen. Keeping the gutters clear of debris will prevent a buildup of ice on your roof and damage to your gutters.
- Check for leaks around doors, windows, switch plates, and under sink plumbing. You will want to insulate, caulk, or use spray foam around any drafty areas you find. This keeps heat from escaping and will help reduce your energy bills.
- Check your furnace filter, and replace if needed. A clean furnace filter will help your system run more efficiently, and again save on your heating bill. If you don’t already have one, installing a programmable thermostat can also save on your heat bill.
- Make sure your water pipes and hot water heater are insulated. Doing this will protect the pipes during really cold spells. And since insulating your hot water lines can raise your water temperature 2 to 4 degrees, it allows your system to be more energy efficient by giving you hot water at lower settings.
- Insulate your attic and crawl space. Making sure your crawl space is properly insulated will keep floors feeling warmer. Because a great deal of heat can escape through the roof, having adequate insulation in your attic is a necessity.
- Have your chimney cleaned. This will allow your fireplace to work better and help keep your home and family safe. A buildup of deposits — as well as animal nests in your chimney — can lead to chimney fires.
You can complete several of these projects on your own, but some other projects, like chimney cleaning, will require a professional. While winterizing your home can be time consuming, completing these projects will keep your home in good working order, and save you money along the way. Happy winterizing!