Now that Winter is descending upon us, you may be wondering how you can winterize your home, increase energy efficiency, and prepare your dwellings for cooler weather and harsh conditions. Even in sunny Southern California, homeowners are wise to take necessary precautions that will help you keep your home in good shape and avoid potential damages.
Here are 6 easy ways to winterize your home.
Clean Your Gutters
Not everyone’s favorite task, but the simple act of clearing leaves and debris from your gutters can make a big impact. This ensures water flows freely away from your home, which prevents icicles and ice dams from forming. Clear leaves and debris from your gutters to make sure water can flow freely away from your home. Left untended, clogged gutters can cause serious damage to your home including frozen pipes or water intrusion (which can lead to wall and ceiling damage and eventually, mold growth.)
Flush Your Water Heater
To keep your water heater in tip top shape during the cold season, a regular flushing can do wonders. Sediment that builds up at the bottom can reduce the water heater’s efficiency over time. Utilize the drain valve to flush the water, release particles, and keep your water heater functioning as it should. To go the extra mile in maintaining efficiency and prevent heat loss, insulate your tank with a pre-cut jacket or blanket.
Replace Your Air Filters & Clean Ducts
Don’t find yourself without a functioning HVAC system when you need it most. Regularly replacing your air filters and having your air ducts cleaned will keep your central air and heating system working efficiently. A seasonal maintenance check will also lower your heat bill and prevent other costly repairs.
Seal Windows and Doors
Air leaks and drafts around windows and doors are a common source of heat loss. There are several easy remedies that will increase energy efficiency and lower your bills. Applying weatherstripping to your doors will help seal things up and keep warm air in. Window insulation film is an easy and budget-friendly way to to keep heat from leaking out of your windows and increase your energy efficiency. Draft guards (or even a rolled up towel) placed at the bottom of an exterior door will also keep the cold air from getting inside.
Caulk Any Gaps
Caulk is your friend when it comes to winterizing your home. Identify gaps in windows, doors, or siding and fill them with caulk to give your home an added layer of insulation. Removing interior molding around windows and doors and applying caulk will provide extra protection.
Insulate Windows and Doors
In addition to sealing windows and doors, adding fiberglass insulation around basement and attic windows and doors will increase energy efficiency and keep your home’s climate control in check. Don’t forget the attic floor and basement ceiling!
Check Your Chimney
Chimneys are a common source of heat loss, but one that is easily fixed. If you don’t plan on using your fireplace this winter, a chimney balloon is a great way to plug it up and keep cold drafts from blowing in or warm air from escaping.
Give Your Home a Deep Clean
Dust, dirt, and pet dander are rarely a welcome site in your home, but especially during the winter months when your home is closed up tight with less airflow. Giving your home a good, deep clean before the freezing temps set in will reduce the presence of these allergens.
Rotate Ceiling Fans
A simple switch on your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise is a must-do when winterizing your home. This easy fix will cause the fans to push warm air down, making your home feel warmer.
Turn Off Exterior Faucets
An often forgotten about but important task when winterizing your home is draining and disconnecting outdoor hoses and blowing out sprinkler systems. This quick and easy task will prevent frozen water lines, burst pipes, and other costly home damage. Checking for leaks and sealing up outdoor pipes will give your home an added layer of protection.
Winterizing your home doesn’t have to be a headache. Don’t put off these important repairs until it’s too late. With regular maintenance, your home will be in the best shape for every season.