Winterizing Your Home

It’s that time of year again. Winter will be here soon, but will you be ready? Now is the time to think about winterizing your house. You will be glad you took the time because the steps you take will protect your property and save you dollars in heating costs.

Check the doors and windows for leaks. If you feel any air coming through, add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows, caulk gaps where necessary, and replace worn door stops at the bottom of doors. Use a quilt as a wall hanging or to hang over a patio door because it provides insulation for both. Don’t forget about the basement. If you have the financial means, you may want to replace old windows with energy efficient windows.

Check for other leaks around the house. Check the entry points of all plumbing and ducts that go through an exterior wall. Use caulking and weather-stripping if necessary to seal up leaks.

Do you have enough insulation in your home? Proper attic insulation keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Ask the staff at your local home improvement center how much insulation is recommended in your area, then check your attic insulation to make sure it’s adequate.

Before winter arrives, make sure you have your heater checked by a professional. If you have a furnace filter, make sure you replace it. Also remember to vacuum the vents and other heating components. If your heating is ran by electricity, remember to fill your propane tanks.

Fireplaces are a good source of heat, but before you use yours be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned. When you aren’t using the fireplace, close the damper. If you have time, replace loose shingles and clean drain gutters and point downspouts away from the house. Also trim tree limbs that are hanging over or touching the roof.

Don’t forget the plumbing when doing your winterizing check. Take care of known issues with pipes that freeze. Heat tape can be used to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. It is important to drain water from outdoor faucets when you think a hard freeze is coming. This will keep pipes from bursting.

Don’t neglect the emergency supplies you may need in case of power outages due to ice storms or blizzards. You can fill a plastic tub with candles and matches or a small butane lighter, a flashlight, a battery operated radio or weather radio, and extra batteries. You may also want to add bottled water and non perishable food that will last a few days. It is a good idea to have extra firewood on hand and a generator with fuel.

Being prepared for winter is the best way to stay warm. Don’t be caught in out in the cold. Plan now to have a safe, warm winter.

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