As the festive season approaches and daylight dwindles, it's crucial to prepare for the cold embrace of winter. These essential preparations can safeguard your home from the harsh elements and ensure a cozy and efficient season.
Seal the Breezes
A quick and effective way to conserve heat and save on energy costs is to eliminate drafts. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. A simple solution like placing a rolled towel at the bottom of exterior doors can make a difference. Additionally, for a minimal cost, you can caulk around windows and doors to seal gaps. A guide to caulking can be found here.
Clearing your gutters of debris is vital to prevent water damage and ice dams. Ensuring free-flowing gutters helps keep water away from your home's foundation and out of your basement. It's also wise to trim any tree branches that could potentially deposit leaves into gutters or damage your roof in storms.
Have a professional HVAC technician service your furnace before winter to ensure it’s clean, inspected, and functioning efficiently. To maintain peak performance, replace your furnace filter monthly to prevent restricted airflow and unnecessary energy use, which can drive up heating costs.
Wrap pipes in colder areas, like basements or attics, with insulation to protect them from freezing temperatures. In extremely cold weather, allowing faucets to drip slightly can also help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Enhancement For windows that are less effective in blocking the chill, applying window insulation film can reduce drafts and heat loss. This simple project involves attaching a clear film to windows with double-sided tape and then tightening the film with heat from a hairdryer.
Ceiling Fan Adjustment
Ceiling fans aren't just for summer. By setting your fans to rotate in the opposite direction, you can force warm air downwards and recirculate it, keeping your rooms warmer.
Prepare Small Engines
Fuel in machines like lawn mowers can degrade over time and clog engines. Before winter, add a fuel stabilizer or run the engine until the tank is dry. Similarly, ensure snowblowers are operational before the first snowfall to avoid being caught unprepared.
Prevent winter weather from wreaking havoc on your home by checking for and repairing any roof damage like missing shingles. If your roof is older, consider having a professional inspection to avert potential issues.