Winter is coming (and we’re not talking about the Starks). As the temperatures drop, you might want nothing more than to barricade yourself in your home by a nice cozy fireplace. But before you get too comfortable, you need to make sure your house is prepared for the cold air, snow, sleet, and blizzards. Winterproofing your home and keeping your family warm (while keeping energy bills low) can feel like a big task. All the same, it’s important to be proactive to prevent damage and energy leaks. How can you prepare your home for winter?
Top 10 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter
10. Turn off exterior faucets. If you’re lucky, you’ve never experienced the damage a burst pipe can cause. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you this winter with a little preparation. Turn off your faucets to avoid frozen pipes, and pad your pipes to prevent floods.
9. Insulate your water pipes. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so don’t let it go to waste! Pipes that aren’t insulated transfer heat very quickly, which means it takes more energy to heat your water to your liking. Wrap those pipes up to slow heat transfer.
8. Tune up your heating system. You may not think about your heating system year round, but it’s worth the extra effort to get it inspected before there’s a problem. If something breaks during the winter, there will be a long line of people who want their heating systems fixed, which means you’ll be left in the cold.
7. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Don’t give air any space to escape your home. Fall is the perfect time to seal up any leaks in doors or windows. Are you the DIY type? This is a fairly easy project to do on your own, or you can enlist the help of a professional.
6. Check the roof. Do you have any leaks you’ve been meaning to fix? Now is the time. Get up close and personal with your roof and be sure to replace any shingles that are damaged or missing. A leak during the winter can quickly cause lots of damage.
5. Clean your gutters. You should keep your gutters clean year round, but they are especially important in winter. They are there to move debris off of your roof and prevent damage, so it is vital that they are free to do their job. A crowded gutter can contribute to ice dams. While we’re on the subject…
4. Prevent ice dams. This winter hazard occurs when snow on your roof starts to melt and refreezes. It gets trapped in your walls and can create a lot of damage. The best way to prevent them is by giving your attic some extra attention. Make sure it is properly ventilated and insulated. An attic that traps heat is an ice dam waiting to happen.
3. Insulate your walls and attics against drafts. Insulation is the most important thing standing between your family and the unforgiving cold of the outdoors. It keeps the cold air out and prevents energy leaks. Don’t spend money heating the air in your home if it’ll only escape through walls that are improperly insulated. It’s even more important to remember that heat rises; an attic that isn’t insulated properly will allow all that expensive warm air outside. Fall is the perfect time to update that insulation. After all, you’re not paying to heat the whole neighborhood.
2. Prep your fireplace. Your fireplace can be a huge area of energy loss if it isn’t prepared for winter. Take a flashlight, get on your knees, and look inside for any build-up, bird’s nests, or obvious cracks. Check outside for broken bricks or mortar. Check the damper; does the fireplace feel cold even when the damper is closed? It may be a sign that it’s warped or rusted. Clean out the ash often, and remember to have a professional chimney sweep clean your fireplace every other year.
And Our Number One Tip…
1. Get a home energy audit. The best way to make sure your home is prepared for anything the seasons can throw at it is to have it thoroughly inspected for areas of energy loss or other problems. Don’t wait for the cold of winter to set it; assessing your home’s needs in the fall gives you plenty of time to address them. You’ll have your coziest New England winter yet, and you’ll spend less on energy costs.
Is your home ready for winter? The cold weather will be here before you know it. Need a little extra help? Contact Energy Monster for an insulation consultation. We’ll assess your home’s insulation and help you address any areas of concern so you can go into the winter worry-free.Return to Blog