Simple Steps for Home Winterization
This winter season is settling in and if you haven’t taken steps to winterize your home, it’s not too late! Considering the improved comfort, efficiency and safety winterization adds, even simple things are worth the effort. The following are 5 ways we suggest you use to winterize the home this winter:
Seal air leaks
Homeowners should seal any air leaks around their windows to prevent cold air from leaking in and warm air from leaking out. Doing this will help prevent their heating system from overworking, thereby helping to keep their energy bills down as well as prevent additional wear and tear occurring on their heating system. The more wear and tear that a heating system experiences, the more that costly repairs will become necessary. Not to mention that doing this will keep the house a lot more comfortable as well. Air leaks can be spotted by cold drafts nearby windows. One can also do an air leak test by walking around the outskirts of their home with a lit incense stick. If the smoke is drawn towards the window, then it’s because there is a leak present. Once air leaks are spotted, the fix is simple, they can be sealed by using caulking.
There are a few maintenance tasks homeowners can do to help keep their home safe during the winter. These include trimming the branches off nearby trees and cleaning their gutters. Homeowners should have their trees inspected for any loose or damaged limbs or branches. These should be removed since they’ll be more susceptible to fall under the duress of snow or ice. They should also remove any branches that might be hanging a little too close to their roof, since high winds could result in the branches causing damage to their property if they were to fall. It’s also important to keep the gutters clear of any debris during the winter. A blockage can cause serious issues. If it rains, a blockage can cause the rain to build up in the gutters where it will sit until temperatures drop and the water freezes. This will lead to expansion, which can damage the gutters. Keeping the gutters clear will also help prevent icicles from forming, which are dangerous in themselves.
Insulate the windows
Old windows often have glass panes that are easily penetrated by the cold. Fortunately, there are some cheaper alternatives to replacing the windows outright. For example, homeowners could simply hang thick curtains from their windows. Leave them open during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible, then close them at night in order to keep heat trapped inside. Another method for insulating the windows is to tape bubble wrap to the glass. This will not only help add a layer of insulation, it won’t block any sunlight.
Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans have a switch that will cause them to rotate in a clockwise direction. This will help to push the warm air generated by the heating system up and around the room more evenly. Not only does this help make the home more comfortable, homeowners can end up reducing their heating costs by as much as 10 percent and it’s as simple as flipping a switch!
Lower the water heater’s temperature
The default setting on most water heaters is 140 degrees Fahrenheit. By lowering the water heater 20 degrees, homeowners can end up saving between 6 and 10 percent off their energy bills while still receiving hot water.
Most of these can be done in a single weekend and the differences it makes in your home can be immediately felt. Stay warm and be safe, winterize your home!