With the winter season lurking around the corner, getting ready for those freezing days and nights is quite essential. Taking precautionary steps to winterize your home before winter will not only help to guarantee comfort but also prevent any damages caused by the unforgiving cold.
So, before happily welcoming the beautiful sights of snow, you should ensure that your house is all set for the season. But how do you do it? How do you winterize a house?
Well, whether it’s for your residential home or rental properties, these few tips can significantly help your home to handle the cold.
How to Winterize a House: Best Tips
Inspect and Maintain Your Furnace
As the freezing weather sets in, your furnace should better be working! Otherwise, how will you even survive the cold?
For this reason, contact an HVAC technician to come and conduct a routine maintenance check on the furnace. This way, you’ll be confident of your home’s heating system as you await the fall and winter.
The hard fact is, there is no alternative to inspecting and maintaining that furnace. You must do it, as it might be the only source of heat keeping the house warm.
Check and Clean the Gutters
Cleaning your gutters and checking for any damages is essential before winter sets in. This will ensure that water can flow freely to avoid the formation of ice dams.
The best time to clean your gutters is when the trees around the house have completely shed off their leaves. This way, you won’t have to repeat the process as more leaves and debris accumulate on the gutters again.
While this is a simple DIY task, hiring a gutter cleaner can also help, especially if you are not keen on heights.
Inspect the Home for Leaks or Cracks
This is quite an important step in winterizing your home. You should ensure that your house is free from leaking pipes or cracks before winter starts. And, this should be done both for the interior and the exterior of your home.
You are more likely to see these issues on:
- Stucco exterior
- Window sills
- Brocken window locks
- Concrete foundations
Make sure you seal any of these leaks and cracks using the most appropriate method. For instance, caulking is ideal in warmer interior environments, although some brands are durable enough for the exteriors.
Also, if you are weather stripping the windows or doors, ensure that you have the right material. This will minimize the chances of redoing the process in the middle of winter.
Winterize House Plumbing
Exposed water pipes in and around your house should be your next agenda. This is because they are susceptible to freezing as temperatures drop.
Insulating these pipes is therefore important to ensure that you do not run into water problems during winter. Also, keep the water in your plumbing from freezing by keeping some faucets a bit open to allow a continuous flow of water. Remember, frozen water can cause these pipes to burst, resulting to even more damages.
If you don’t know how to winterize house hidden pipes, it’s wise to contact your plumber as he has the tools and skills.
Insulate the Attic
Learning how to winterize your house is paramount to help deal with the unbearable winter cold. Insulating your attic is another way of ensuring that the cold doesn’t get the best of you during this season.
And, while you might have done this the previous season, you might still need to add more insulation to guarantee warmth in your house this winter too.
One thing to note, though: when adding insulation to an existing layer, use only an insulation material that doesn’t trap the vapor. This way, you’ll have prevented any moisture accumulation that might encourage mold growth.
Remove Garden Hose
In preparation for the cold weather, disconnect and drain all your garden hoses and house them. Also, ensure that you shut off the exterior valves, drain the water, and insulate the faucets. This will help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
If you are planning to be away for a while during winter, some extra precautions will be necessary. For instance, turn off the water from the source and drain your plumbing system to prevent pipes from freezing.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
If you haven’t done this already, make sure that your HVAC system is fitted with a programmable thermostat. This thermostat allows you to tailor your system’s heat settings based on your home’s heating needs.
The thermostat enables the heating system to adjust the temperatures as per the programmed settings, offering different temperatures at different times of the day. Such a thermostat ensures there’s zero heat wastage, especially when you are out of the house.
You can seek the services of an experienced HVAC technician to ensure the installation is done right.
Clean and Stock the Fireplace
Your fireplace is the second source of heating for your home. Therefore, before the cold season starts, ensure that the fireplace is well maintained and has enough firewood.
That way, in case your furnace malfunctions or there is a power blackout, you will always have an alternative source of heat.
You should seek the services of a chimney sweep company to do the cleanup and maintenance. This ensures that your fireplace is safe and ready for use when the cold comes.
Also, check your firewood stock to ensure it’s in good condition and remove the rotten ones.
Inspect your Home’s Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Most house fire incidences happen during the cold seasons. Since everyone is blasting their furnaces, and fireplaces are mostly on, the chances of house fires are always close. Also, the houses are mostly closed up and sealed in almost every inch, making CO a serious hazard.
Therefore, all your home’s smoke and CO detectors must be operational. Also, ensure that they are well powered.
Contact a qualified HVAC technician to inspect the detectors to ensure they are in perfect condition.
The technician will also confirm that your heating devices (furnace and water heater) are well vented during the inspection. These are the main culprits in carbon monoxide emissions.