It’s time to prepare for winter again. Today we have some tips about where you can
start to avoid letting the cold into your warm winter home.
As we move closer to the cold months of winter, we at the Zuber Group wanted to give you six tips to properly winterize your home in order to protect you from the elements and the expenses related to winter damage.
1. Furnace. Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean the ducts. Since you should be changing your furnace filter monthly, consider stocking up on furnace filters. You could also change out your thermostat for a programmable one.
For those of you with radiators, be sure to bleed the lines by opening the valves slightly to release the air until water comes out.
Finally, no matter what type of heating you have, remember to remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
2. Chimney. Remove any soot and creosote with the help of a chimney sweep. It’s also important to keep rodents and birds from entering your home, so try adding a screen to the top of your chimney. Additionally, check the mortar in between the bricks to make sure it is in good condition, and don’t forget to stock up on firewood for those cold nights.
3. Preparing inside and out. Be aware of the location of your water main in case you need to shut it off in the event of an emergency. To prevent any damage caused by freezing, drain all of your hoses and air conditioner pipes of any excess water. If not already done, insulate any exposed plumbing as well. If you go on vacation, leave the heat on so that your pipes don’t freeze while you’re gone—that would be a nasty surprise to return to. Outside, prune your tree branches that hang too close to your house or electrical wires, and be sure to seal your driveways, brick patios, and wood decks.
4. Weatherstripping. Inspect and seal any of your home’s exterior cracks and exposed entry points. Adding weather stripping around the doors and caulk around the windows can help prevent the heat from escaping your home, thereby raising your heating bill. Replace any cracked windows, and remember to prime and paint the exposed wood if you end up replacing more than just the pane. If you have storm windows, install them.
5. Roof and gutters. Adding extra insulation in the attic can help prevent your warm air from escaping to your attic and out of the home. Also, check to see if you need to replace any worn shingles or tiles. Be sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts to help direct water away from the home.
6. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check that your smoke detectors work properly and that they are in every room. Also, check or install your carbon monoxide detector near your furnace. As a precautionary measure, buy a fire extinguisher or replace any that are older than ten years old.
A bonus safety tip is to always have an emergency kit on hand filled with candles and matches in case the power goes out. It might also be a good idea to include in your kit the phone numbers for your utility company. Finally, pack bottled water and non-perishable food for both you and your pets, as well as blankets and a first-aid kit, which should be stored in an accessible, dry location.
It’s smart to prepare. If you have any additional questions about how you can better prepare your home for the upcoming winter, please feel free to reach out to us. And, as always, if you are interested in buying or selling, don’t hesitate to call or email. We look forward to speaking with you soon.