9 Money-Saving Tips to Winterize Your Home
A dependable heating system is an absolute necessity in the winter months. Depending on what part of the country you call home, it can cost a good bit of money to maintain the warmth inside your home throughout the winter. However, there are ways to winterize your home that will allow you to save a bit of money while continuing to enjoy the warmth your furnace provides.
1. Air Filter Replacement
This step is probably the simplest of the methods to help you prepare your home to withstand the cold of the winter. Regular air filter replacement is also a great way to increase the lifespan of your system.
Dirty filters will prevent the warm air created in your furnace from reaching the vents that provide a portal into your home. Changing your filters at the onset of the winter and then maybe two months later should ensure the proper flow of warm air throughout the winter months.
2. Pipe Protection
Once the temperature outside dips below the freezing point, the water inside your pipes may turn to ice. This ice will expand and can result in cracked pipes. And while a crack in one or more water pipes is no laughing matter, it may represent only the beginning of the problem. A small crack in a pipe can release enough water to damage the structure of a home and cause a significant loss of property.
You can protect your pipes against the winter cold by wrapping any pipes that may become exposed to the wind and elements with a bit of insulation. Foam insulation will do the trick, but you can also use heat tape for this step in the winterization process.
3. Seal Cracks
Homeowners who take the time to seal any gaps that may allow cold air into their homes will do a lot to ensure their family’s comfort this winter. Homeowners can apply weatherstripping and sealant to the openings that exist around doors, windows, mail chutes, and air conditioners.
Caulking can be used to ensure that snow or rain is unable to access your home through these cracks. Areas outside the home that should be thoroughly inspected for gaps and cracks include:
- Window jams
- Door and window trims
- The siding around doors and windows
- The Meeting points of door jambs and thresholds
- Penetrations that exist in the siding around dryer vents and pipes
- The spot where porch or patio railings attach to the house
4. Check the Roof
A roof that’s aging or showing signs of wear can cost you money on your monthly energy bills. There is also the potential for cracks and leaks that lead to more expensive damage.
When checking the winter readiness of your roof, you should first ensure there are no damaged or missing shingles. Next, you should check for areas around the chimney that present the opportunity for leaks to form. You should also check for leak indicators like mold, rot, or moss. These steps are especially important if you live in an area that experiences a fair amount of snow in the winter.
5. Check the Generator
Winter storms often result in lost power. Your family will appreciate the presence of an alternative energy source when this happens.
Generators should be checked and restored to optional functionality before the beginning of each winter. Steps in this process include:
- A thorough cleaning
- Changing the oil
- Purchasing new gas
- Making sure the system starts
- Giving it a test run
- Storing it in a safe place
6. Test Home Detectors
The risk of fire in a home is higher in the winter months. Families should make sure all fire alarms in a home are working as designed. Start the inspection by holding down the “test button” found on the smoke detector. A few seconds may pass before the smoke detector produces a loud, siren-like sound. If this sound is not loud enough to alert everyone in your home of potential danger, try the test again after replacing the battery. Once you’re sure your smoke detectors are in proper working condition, it’s a good idea to perform the same test on the smoke detector at least once each month.
Homeowners who possess carbon monoxide detectors can check the functionality of these devices in a manner similar to how you check smoke detectors.
7. Storm Windows
Mount storm windows on either side of the main windows of a home. These windows can be constructed with glass or plastic and will add an extra layer of protection against cold air.
Single-pane windows aren’t very effective at blocking cold air and can leave the rooms of your home with a temperature-lowering draft. Storm windows will prove sufficient to remedy this problem and will also help to prevent rain and snow from entering a home. A home with storm windows will cost less to keep warm in the winter. You can also remove storm windows once the spring arrives and store them in a safe place until the next cold season.
8. Reverse Ceiling Fans
Some homeowners may be surprised to learn that a ceiling fan can be useful in keeping their homes warm in the winter. The motion of the fan only needs reversing to convert the appliance into a home heating tool.
The normal rotation for ceiling fans is counterclockwise and produces a breeze that cools the air in the room. When your ceiling fan runs clockwise, warm air trapped near the ceilings of the home will begin to circulate throughout the room.
9. Check and Prepare Heating System
Just before the winter months are upon you is a perfect time to schedule the annual maintenance that all heating systems require. This step becomes more important once you consider that many of the calls fielded by HVAC technicians regarding a lack of heat are a result of the poor maintenance habits of the owner.
An inspection from a qualified heating system specialist will include:
- Checking for leaks
- System cleaning
- Control check
- Carbon monoxide check
The HVAC professional who inspects your heating system will also provide you with suggestions on how to improve system performance. You could either allow the technician to complete the full list of maintenance duties or choose the do-it-yourself approach for some or all of these tasks.
Dependable Heating System Service
A lot is riding on the ability of your home heating system to control winter temperatures. This fact is one reason it’s a good idea to trust in Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning for all of your heating maintenance and repair needs. We’ve set a standard for delivering the highest quality heating service available to residents of the Seattle area and take pride in continuing to exceed all expectations from customers. Give us a call to get help with preparing your heating system for the brutality of winter. We can also help you with all your cooling needs in the summertime.