As the cold weather starts to kick in, you’ll not only find yourself breaking out the winter wardrobe, but you’ll also want to winterize your home. What exactly does it mean to winterize your home? Think of it like breaking out a thick cozy sweater that not only keeps you warm, but helps save you money. Below are our favorite tips for prepping your home for winter and ensuring that you aren’t left stranded when the freezing temperatures become an everyday occurrence.
The first thing we think of when we talk about winterizing your home? The furnace. You are definitely going to want to have a fully functioning furnace come winter time, and we’ll help you make sure it’s ready to rock and roll.
- Check your air flow – your furnace needs to have adequate air flow and ventilation in order to work safely and efficiently. Ask a technician to perform a thorough inspection of your furnace air flow.
- Check the pilot light – visually inspect your pilot lite and make sure it is burning a nice, hot blue color (not a dull orange or yellow).
- Check the area around the furnace – your furnace needs to be able to breathe, and you don’t want to create any fire hazards. Make sure to leave a adequate spacing around the furnace and that no flammables are anywhere near the outside.
- Check your carbon monoxide alarm – do a quick test of your carbon monoxide alarm and make sure it’s working properly.
- Schedule a winter furnace checkup – in the fall, schedule an annual furnace checkup with a professional HVAC company near you. This is a good habit to get into since your technician can spot any small issues and prevent them from becoming catastrophic
- Check your air filters – air filters should be replaced at least every 3 months, if not more often.
- Reprogram your thermostat – program your thermostat so that it keeps the house warm when you’re at home, but turns off when you’re at work or away for a long weekend. This will save you a ton of money on your monthly heating bill.
- Flush your water heater – you should flush your water heater annually, and there’s no better time to do it than in winter. You can do this yourself or have a professional do it for you.
- Check the anode rod – when you flush the tank, also check the anode rod and replace if necessary.
- Turn down the temperature – turn down the temperature on your water heater just slightly enough to give you enough hot water, but not so hot that it’s scorching when it comes out. Set it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower if you can and you’ll notice about 10% savings in your water bill.
- Insulate your water pipes – insulate any exposed water pipes in order to prevent them from freezing in the winter months.
- Schedule a regular water heater checkup – have a professional come to your home and perform a thorough inspection of your water heater.
Doors and Windows
- Check for air drafts – check for any drafts within your home and try to pinpoint where they are coming from. Consider installing curtains or temporary doorways that prevent drafts from circulating cold air throughout your home.
- Check the weather stripping – it’s amazing how much cold air can come in just from lack of weather stripping. Make sure you have draft guards at the bottom of your doors and that the perimeter of your front and back doors are properly sealed.
- Insulate your windows – if you have poorly insulated windows, you can actually purchase a window insulation kit. These kits use clear plastic to help winterize your home and protect hot air from escaping.
Need help winterizing your home? Call your local heating and air conditioning specialists for professional assistance.