Prepare Your Home For Winter
Winter is fast approaching; don’t forget to prep your home for the winter. Here are tips to get your home ready for the cold season.
Test your furnace – Before you absolutely need it, test and inspect your furnace to make sure everything is functioning properly. While you’re at it, change your furnace filter too. It’s a good idea to have your furnace professionally inspected ever couple of years too.
Inspect chimney – Take a look at your chimney to make sure it is clear and free of debris. Animals seem to think a chimney is a great spot to build a nest over the summer. If you have a fireplace make sure the damper opens appropriately. It’s also a good idea to have chimney’s professionally cleaned every 1-5 years (depending how often your fire place is used).
Check your hose bibs (outside faucets) – Disconnect any outside hoses to prevent trapping water. If you have valves inside your house to shut off your exterior faucets, shut off those valves and open your hose bib to let any trapped water out.
Clean gutters – Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters can prevent melting snow from draining which can lead to ice dams.
Seal up leaks – Check all of your window and doors for air leaks, and add weather stripping if needed.
Storm windows – If you don’t have double pain windows, adding storm windows or a window shrink kit can make a big difference in your heating bill.
Insulate – Check your attic to see how much insulation you have. The recommendation these days is 16”-22” or an R-value of 49
Reverse your fan – Change your ceiling fans to blow upward. This will help circulate the warm air that rises up to the ceiling back down toward the floor and not give you a windchill affect.
Switch your return vents – If you have high and low return vents in each room, block off the high vents and open the low vents. This will also help the warm air that naturally rises drift back down low to return to the furnace.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – A bad furnace can often be the source of carbon monoxide. So test all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you don’t have detectors, get some!
Vacant Homes – If you’re winterizing a vacant property, you have a lot more work that needs to be done. The main thing is protecting pipes from freezing. Drain all the water out of your pipes, water heater, fixtures, well tanks, etc. Also, it’s a good idea to pour RV antifreeze in all your fixtures and traps.