8 Simple Steps to Winterize Your Home
As the holiday season approaches and daylight dwindles, it's crucial to prepare for the impending chill of winter. Safeguarding your home against the harsh Midwest winter is essential for protecting your valuable investment. Here are some vital tips to winterize your home effectively:
Seal the Breezes Combatting drafts is an easy yet effective way to enhance your home's warmth and reduce energy costs this winter. The U.S. Department of Energy highlights that drafts can waste 5% to 30% of energy. Simply using a draft blocker or a rolled-up towel at the base of exterior doors can make a significant difference. Additionally, for about $25, you can seal gaps around windows and doors with caulk. Check out this guide for detailed instructions on caulking your windows and doors.
Gutter Maintenance Unclean gutters can lead to water damage and ice dams, a common winter issue. Clear out any debris to ensure proper water flow, preventing potential damage to your home's foundation and basement. Additionally, trimming overhanging branches can prevent them from cluttering your gutters or causing roof damage during storms.
Furnace Care Ensure your furnace is ready for winter by scheduling a professional inspection and maintenance. Regular cleaning and inspection guarantee efficient and safe operation. Also, remember to replace the furnace filter monthly to maintain airflow and energy efficiency.
Pipe Insulation Protect your pipes, especially those in colder areas like basements or attics, by insulating them. In freezing temperatures, keep a trickle of water flowing from faucets to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting.
Window Insulation Film For older windows that struggle to keep out the cold, consider installing window insulation film. This simple DIY project can significantly reduce drafts and heat loss, involving only a transparent film, double-sided tape, and a hairdryer.
Reverse Ceiling Fans Utilize ceiling fans in winter by reversing the blade rotation. This creates an updraft that pushes warm air near the ceiling back into the room, increasing warmth.
Prepare Small Engines Gasoline in machines like lawn mowers decomposes over 3-6 months, leading to clogged carburetors. To avoid this, use a fuel stabilizer or run the engine until it's out of gas. Also, ensure your snowblower is operational before the first big snowfall.
Roof Inspection Prevent winter damage by inspecting your roof for leaks or damage, especially if it's older than 15 years. Replace any damaged shingles and consider a professional inspection for older roofs to avoid leaks and damage from snow and ice accumulation.
By following these steps, you can significantly enhance your home's readiness for winter, ensuring comfort and energy efficiency during the colder months.