When the glistening sun and the warm summery weather starts being replaced by chilly winters, a lot of things change. Suddenly, thick, cozy blankets are pulled out from closets. Sleeping in becomes a norm. The coffeemaker is given a royalty status. After all, the equipment bestows all with a warm and steamy cup of coffee.
While chilly weathers are loved by most people, at the same time, cold weathers when not dealt with properly can be a lot of hassle. Whether it be getting sick or feeling too cold all the time, if one does not correctly winterize their home, they are bound to be uncomfortable during the winter season. Before listing down the winterization tips, it is crucial to know why winterizing home is required.
Importance of winterizing your home
Here is why it is essential to winterize houses during the chilly seasons.
1. Saving Energy and hence money
When winterizing a house, a very crucial process is insulating it all. This is done by sealing the house from all aspects, to protect it from air leaks. When this is done, the amount of energy used to heat the house decreases. This, in turn, helps in saving money.
2. Reducing the need for repairs
Since winterizing calls for regularly maintaining the house, it also means that one doesn’t have to worry about immediate repairs. Instead, one would always be aware of the impending repairs that need to be made.
3. Protecting the house from disasters
Snowfalls. Ice storms. Freezing cold temperatures. Winterizing a house helps protect it from the damages that may be accompanied with such disasters. A house which is adequately winterized both from the inside and outside is capable of withstanding all the challenges of harsh weather.
Tips to winterizing
Here are some winterization tips that can come in handy when winterizing a house.
• Start with a furnace inspection
The first step to winterizing a house is to seek professional help. Begin by getting an appointment with an HVAC professional. The professional will inspect and clean the furnace and ducts. While you are at it, make a point to change the furnace filters monthly to avoid the high cost of repairing and cleaning furnaces.
In terms of winterizing, a great move would be to switch to a programmable furnace. This is bound to reduce energy consumption as well as offer convenience.
• Getting the fireplace ready
Having a sound and working fireplace is crucial to winterizing a house. This is why one must clean the chimney when starting with the fireplace.
Sometimes, a chimney sweep might need to be called to remove accumulations and dust. To prevent birds and rodents from accessing the chimney, it is best to cap it off. Make sure the fireplace has a functional opening and closing.
• Doors, Windows, and Exterior Check
Whether or not the harsh chilly weather from outside will come inside depends on the quality of the door, window and exterior check. One should ensure that no cracks are present in the walls that might expose the house to the chilly winds.
For the gaps in windows and doors, considering using weather-stripping. In case there are any windows with cracked glasses, replace the glass soon. Inability to do so will result in the eventual replacing of the entire window.
• Roof, Downspout and Gutter inspection
Another critical aspect of winterizing is to make sure that water doesn’t enter the house. This is why it is integral to check flashing of the house. Any tiles or roof shingles that are worn out are prone to getting damp. This is why they must be replaced.
Similarly, adding a layer of insulation to the attic walls and floor will stop the warm air from the house from escaping. Moreover, clean all the gutters of the house using a hose. This helps in clearing away all the accumulated debris and directs it away from the house.
• Adjust the water heater
Typically, the water heaters are set at 140 degrees. However, during the winterization process, you should turn it down to 120 degrees. This doesn’t just help in saving money in terms of lower utility bills, but the 140-degree pre-set setting is also known to be a scalding hazard.
• Avoid upgrading the heating system prematurely
When people think of winterizing, they think of investing in a better heating system. However, before upgrading the heating system, there is a lot that you need to do first.
One must begin by improving how efficiently energy is used in the house. The more energy efficient the house is, the smaller the heating unit can be. Not only does this help save some money initially on the purchase but it also reduces long-term operational and maintenance cost.
• Never turn the heat off
Generally, when away from the house, one might decide to turn the heat off. Whether it be when going on vacation or when going to work, make a point never to turn the heat off. This might end up costing more than if one had merely set the thermostat at a consistent temperature. Also, in case one resides in a place where the weather gets freezing cold, the act of turning off the heating system can end up causing the house’s water pipes to burst.
How to check if the house is winterized or not
Here is a checklist that will allow people to know whether the house is winterized or not.
- Check whether the chimney and fireplace are functional
- Examine doors, windows and exterior for cracks and crevices
- Check attic and basement for insulation
- Check to see if the gutters are cleaned to avoid water accumulation
Winters can be a great season. But, this is only the case when one is equipped to deal with the harsh weather. Winterizing allows one to do so. Effectively winterize the house. Make your surrounding as comfortable as possible.