As soon as the fall sets in and the temperatures start to drop it is time to start thinking about winterizing your house. Are you prepared for a long, tough winter?
The first thing you need to do is to compile a list of all the tasks that must be done. Many of the actions that you take now will protect your house against possible damage due to the cold and wet conditions. If you winterize correctly, your house will be warmer during this season and you can even reduce energy usage.
Remove leaves and other clutter from the gutters to allow the water to run through unobstructed. After having cleaned the gutters by hand, hose them out and look for leaks and misaligned pipes. Downspouts should carry water away from your house and its foundation and in this way, you will prevent flooding.
If you live in a really cold environment, it is a good idea to wrap up your pipes. Dealing with burst pipes in dreary weather is something you would like to avoid.
Find leaks or cracks by walking through the house on a windy day and holding a candle or incense stick. The most likely culprits will be door and window frames and electrical outlets. By fixing the cracks, you will keep the cold out and most likely insects as well.
Add insulation upon insulation in the attic. You will need less fuel to keep the house warm in winter and reduce you energy bill, which is good for your pocket and good for the environment.
Clean and tune your furnace annually and change filters regularly. Dirty filters impede airflow and reduce efficiency. Try to replace the filters with ones that can be washed and re-used.
Clean and examine the central heating ducts to make sure they are in optimal condition. This maintenance exercise will ensure that heated air will flow through the building as intended. Losing heat means spending more money on gas or electricity, something you don’t want to do in the current economic climate. Vacuum ducts every few years to remove dust and animal hairs. This will reduce the risk of having family members or guests suffer from respiratory problems.
Clean out your chimney before you start to use it. If you put on a protective cap on the outside, it will prevent birds and other objects falling into it. You need the chimney to be effective in its effort to harness the cold. Also, close the trapdoor when not in use, as this will prevent cold air from seeping into the house.
Remember to reverse the direction of the fan. For winter, the blades should be turning clockwise as you look up. This will push warm air down, which is another way to keep your house warm and decrease the electric bill.
While you are checking through your house, also check the smoke alarms. Make sure the batteries are still functioning properly.
Take down the window screens and install storm windows. If you don’t have storm windows, you will find that the rooms may let in the chill. To save energy, it is recommended to invest in a more efficient type of window. Also consider purchasing a carbon-monoxide detector to keep your home safe if you are planning to use your fireplace extensively.
Winterizing your house properly may cost a bit of money, but it will also save you money in the long run, money that can be put into a savings account and kept for any emergency repairs you may need to carry out as the weather gets worse. If you are looking to do this then it is worth checking out the savings on the internet to make sure that you get the best rates.