Winterize your home – now!
You’ve started to look for a sweater in the evenings and found yourself wearing jeans again. You’re ready for winter, but what about your house? Take these easy few steps to save yourself money and possibly damage to your home in the coming cold winter months.
- Clean your gutters – Once the leaves have fallen from the trees, grab a ladder and gently remove the debris from the gutters. Then, rinse the bottoms of the gutter to ensure good flow of water for those winter showers.
- Stop the draft – The cold winter draft that is leaking in around your doors. Take a candle or piece of incense around your home on a windy day and go near doors and windows looking for wind making its way into your home. Also check recessed lighting, door frames and electrical outlets. A variety of caulks, gaskets and weather-stripping is available at any local hardware store.
- Insulate your attic – If your attic has less than 12” of insulation, regardless of where in the country, you should consider adding more. It is an easy do-it-yourself project.
- Check the furnace – The furnace can run much more efficiently if it has a clean filter in it. Consider changing your filter once a month. They are inexpensive and pay for themselves in efficiency gains.
- Check your ducting insulation – Ducting in homes can become exposed from being bumped in the attic or crawlspace over time and there are huge efficiency losses from this. Ensure your ducts are covered with insulation and not exposed. Also, check for any leaks in connections while the system is running.
- Single-pane windows – Add an inexpensive window insulation kit to add another “pane” to the glass. This keeps the cold air trapped between another layer instead of entering your home.
- Get your chimney swept – A cleaned chimney will remove creosote, a flammable byproduct of burning wood. Keep your home safe from chimney fires by hiring a professional chimney sweep to remove any build-up.
- Reverse your fans – Who knew? You can change the direction your fan spins to push warm air downwards. When you look up to your fan, it should be turning clockwise.
- Wrap exposed pipes – If a pipe bursts in winter it can cause thousands of dollars in damages. Protect any exposed water pipes with insulation. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and can be applied in minutes.
- Change the batteries in your smoke detectors – It is always a good idea to check your batteries in the smoke detectors a couple times per year. Count this as one.
- Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? As of April 2012, in Washington state, it is mandatory for the selling of a home that it contains a detector on each floor and in proximity of bedrooms. Winter we spend most of our time indoors so make sure you protect yourself and your family.