Although preparing for winter can take a bit of forethought and preparation, your efforts can pay off in a big way. If you take steps to weatherize your home before inclement weather arrives, not only will you make your family more comfortable, but you can also save money.
Does it make a difference to weatherize your home before it gets cold? Yes, absolutely. The cost of energy to heat your home can quickly become unmanageable when you have not taken steps to properly insulate windows and doors or maintain heating and plumbing systems.
Plus, you can end up spending a lot of your hard earned cash on your power bill — and still have a drafty home and goose bumps.
Here are six easy ways to prepare your home for winter without driving yourself crazy or spending a lot of money.
Create a To-Do List
Create a list that is divided into five areas: windows, doors, plumbing, heating, and the people in your home. You will need to examine each of these areas to find possible problems and solutions. Look for drafts, leaks and ways to improve heat loss.
During your inspections make a list of rooms and equipment that need insulation, repairs and supplies. Then, separate your to-do list into two or three manageable tasks per weekend and get them done.
To ensure that pipes do not burst, drain existing liquid from any outside faucets or pipes. Roll up water hoses and store them in the garage. Contact a plumbing professional if you need to blow out sprinkler systems and are unsure how to do it.
Wrap pipes that can freeze with heat tape. And, make sure everyone in the house knows how to turn off the water main if a water pipe should rupture.
Inspect Heating Systems
Why is it critical to make certain your heating systems work before the arrival of cold weather? If you do not, you can risk the health and well-being of your family and home. For instance, if your heating system fails to operate during a cold snap, and you cannot get anyone to repair it, the situation can become dangerous.
Therefore, make sure to test your main and backup heating systems well in advance to confirm they turn on and work properly. Make sure the pilot light is lit, the filters and other components are clean, and the furnace stays on without a problem.
In addition, check that your fireplace flue can easily open and close and have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Plus, install a have thermostat if your home does not already have one or contact a HVAC professional for help.
Stop Door Drafts
Inspect all of your doors for gaps and drafts. If you find worn or missing weather stripping, door stops or caulking, add or replace it with new materials. If you find gaps around pipes and ducts, fill them with caulking, weather stripping or both as well.
Repair Window Problems
Windows can keep heat from escaping out of your home. However, if windows do not seal properly, they cannot do their job. So, what is the best way to find and fix a broken window seal?
Regularly inspect your windows to find evidence of a problem, such as pooling moisture, drafts and broken or cracked caulking. To locate smaller leaks, hold a lit tea candle next to a seam and watch for a flicker.
To fix a broken seal, completely remove all of the existing caulking with a putty knife. Replace it using a caulking gun and silicone-based caulking that you can paint. Apply enough caulking so that it is evenly distributed, and then smooth with a moist fingertip or caulking finisher.
Take Care of Your Body
To maintain a warm internal temperature and to keep everyone happy and healthy, ensure the people in your household eat nutritious food and gets enough exercise, sleep and sunshine. Also make certain that everybody in your home has access to warm clothing and footwear.