A long harsh winter can happen in any given year and it has the potential to some significant damage to your home, it is in your best interest to prepare ahead of time. If you aren’t sure where to start then let us give you 5 tips to winterize your home before the first snowflake drops.
Insulate the Windows
One of the biggest areas of heat loss is your windows. Drafts from the windows can make your home colder and drive up your winter energy bills. Just sealing the drafts can lower the cost of heating your home but as much as 20% and your home will be far more comfortable. The good news is that sealing your windows is quick and inexpensive, here are a couple of ways to do so.
- Cover them in clear plastic sheeting. You can get clear plastic sheeting from the local hardware store, it comes with 2 sided tape and you cover your window and then seal it with a hair dryer. In the spring you can take off the tape with a little rubbing alcohol and it won’t damage your window frames.
- Use caulking in the gaps. If there are any gaps around the window then fill them in with caulking, it will keep the cold air out.
- Use a draft snake kit on doors and window. If cold air is coming in from the bottom of the windows and doors then a draft snake kit, a foam tube with a fabric cover can be put underneath and then you shut the doors and windows blocking out the cold air.
Get Your HVAC System Inspected
The last thing you want is for your furnace to go out in the middle of the winter. In the fall have a local HVAC company come in a do a maintenance inspection to make sure the system is running smoothly and if there are any problems you can deal with them early. You also want to make sure you change the air filters so your furnace doesn’t have to work twice as hard to push air through a dirty filter.
Prune Your Trees
Tree branches get ice build-up throughout the winter and that gets heavy. Older trees with rotten branches can’t handle the weight of the ice and snow, the next thing you know you have tree branches crashing into your roof. Keep tree branches at least 3 feet away from the roof and power lines if you can.
Check Your Roof for Issues
You do not want to have to climb your roof in February to clean off six inches of snow so that you can find a leak. If you can even find a roofer to do it, it will cost you a small fortune. Instead, in the late fall before the weather gets too cold inspect the roof for any potential issues you can fix before the snow flies. Look for shingles that are broken or curling, missing shingles, moss or lichen growing on the roof or rust spots around the flashing. All of these indicate problems that you need to get fixed. Here is how you can inspect your roof.
Check the Gutters and Downspouts
You should clean out your gutters every fall as a rule anyway, leaves and other debris can clog the gutters and cause you a bunch of problems. Clear the gutters and make sure the gutters are firmly attached to your home with no sagging or trapped water anywhere.