10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the barren trees, early nights, and layer of frost every morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, there’s still time. Run through these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.

1. Request Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment

Your furnace has been dormant all summer. To get it ready for another heating season, request a visit from a qualified technician to evaluate, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-effective way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape over time is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.

2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected

Get a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once a year. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in good condition.

3. Seal Air Leaks

As you start to run your furnace all winter, look for and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick all around areas that may be leaky, such as near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.

4. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse

Ceiling fans keep you cool during the summer, but they can also disperse warm air down to the living space over the winter. For best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This method is most effective in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.

5. Install Insulating Drapes

An additional way to winterize your home is to trade out delicate, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Be sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for increased insulation against the brisk night air.

6. Insulate Your Pipes

As the temperature drops, exposed pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting. Put in foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape under the insulation creates an additional layer of protection in particularly frigid climates.

7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances increases the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning over the winter. Use caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functional. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, primarily close to sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and change the batteries every six months.

8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

Do you still have an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by getting a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings fine-tune the temperature at various times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option with the capability to adjust the settings remotely with an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.

9. Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, stopping melted snow from draining off the roof. Left alone, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Try these tips to deter ice dams this winter:

    • Clean the gutters so water can clear away properly.
    • Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
    • Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
    • Insulate the attic floor to further decrease heat transfer through the ceiling.
    • Seal and insulate ductwork up in the attic.
    • Confirm your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside the house, not into the attic.

10. Keep Deicer Handy

Slips and falls are particularly common in freezing winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe for pedestrians by applying salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer along the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Be sure to read the directions for proper application tips and any potential precautions.

Winterizing Your Home with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing systems. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer quality furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare the house for winter. For more information about our services or to {request|schedule|arrange]] an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.