Now that the cold weather is here, it’s time to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. Check out these seven tips to help decrease your utility bills, protect your investment, and keep you sane during our long New England winter.
Inspect heating system
Be proactive and have your heating system inspected. Don’t risk having to call a repairman on the coldest day of the year because your heat isn’t working. Ensure your heat pump or furnace is clean and is functioning. You can also have the carbon-monoxide leakage measured.
Reverse ceiling fans
When you turn on your heat, run your fan in a clockwise direction (if you have a reverse switch.) The idea is that since heat rises the fan will push the heat down into the room. In rooms with high ceilings, this will help a lot and could help you realize energy savings if you can turn down the heat a bit.
Prevent pipes from bursting
Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and potentially burst, which could flood your home and cost a significant amount of money. At risk pipes are the pipes outside of your home, located in exterior walls, or in unheated parts of your home like an attic or garage.
Preventing frozen pipes is easy. One way is to let your faucet drip slightly where you suspect a pipe could freeze. When the faucet drips, it decreases the system’s pressure, which keeps the pipe from bursting. You can also keep interior doors open so the heat from the rest of the house can warm the pipe. For example, for a pipe located in a cabinet, just keep the cabinet door ajar.
Water can build up in gutters filled with leaves, pine needles, or twigs. During the winter months, this water turns to ice and can damage wood trim, roofing or siding. This situation can lead to ice dams and leaks. Plan ahead and clean your gutters so the melting water won’t end up flowing into your home or create ice dams.
Ice dams happen when ice melts on your roof and then refreeze and drips into a clogged gutter. Ultimately water is forced under the roof line and may cause leaks and significant damage. Learn what you can do to prevent ice dams from forming this winter.
Secure and check your roof
To secure your roof, cut tree branches close to your roof so they don’t fall on it and cause damage. Then ensure roof tiles are secure, inspect shingles for damage, and check flashing seals around chimneys or vent stacks to make sure they aren’t broken. All of these exterior materials need to be in good repair to minimize leaks during storms or when snow melts.
Caulk windows and doors
Look for spaces between your siding and your door frames or windows. If you find some, then it’s important to add exterior caulking so the cold air doesn’t get in and increase your heating costs. The best type of caulking for exterior use is silicone caulk because it works best for jobs exposed to water. While it’s expensive, it’s worth the extra money because it’s flexible, has great adhesion, and a long life. Added benefits are that it’s mildew resistant and won’t yellow or discolor.
Cure cabin fever
If you’re not looking forward to the cold weather and the snow that’s undoubtedly on its way, cure your cabin fever with a home improvement project!
Not sure where to start? According to the National Association of Home Builders, one idea it to pick a remodel that will add value to your home. Another idea is to choose one that will make you happy.
Why not turn your current bathroom into a spa retreat for those cold winter nights? Start by adding a new tub and tile flooring. Just remember to check the bathroom walls before making the updates because some older homes contain drywall that isn’t mold resistant. You don’t want to turn a relatively inexpensive job into an expensive one.
Start preparing your home for winter today and don’t forget to check out our latest bathroom remodels so you can pamper yourself in your newly remodeled bathroom after all of your hard work.