How To Prepare Your Home For Winter
Turning the page on summer feels like we’re a bunch of bears preparing for hibernation, and most of us aren’t even mad about it. Cold temps, early sunsets, and schedules to follow are here to stay for a few months.
As we prepare ourselves, it’s also important to prepare our homes. Winterizing your home now will help you and your family stay warm and cozy all winter long. Here are some great and affordable ways to prepare your bear cave for the winter ahead.
How Good Is Your Insulation?
Since heat rises, the most effective use of insulation is probably in the attic. However, most homes have no insulation or not enough in their attic. The EPA advises a minimum of roughly 10 to 14 inches deep to be effective. Make sure ceiling penetrations, like holes around pipes or ducts and wiring are properly caulked as well.
Caulk It Good
This is one of the simplest, and probably most effective ways to stop cold air from infiltrating your house. Plug up holes and cracks around the exterior of your home. Use an acrylic-latex caulk or expanding-foam sealant and fill air-leaking gaps. Specifically your windows, and make sure to replace the weather stripping on your doors.
Are Your Windows Outdated?
Single-pane windows are incredibly inefficient and can make rooms feel uncomfortably drafty and cold. If you don’t have the budget for installing new windows, storm windows are a great option. Storm windows provide an extra layer of protection from the cold and wind. They mount to the exterior of existing windows easily and can be just as easily removed in the spring.
When Is The Last Time You Changed Your Filter?
Dirty furnace filters will hinder airflow and dramatically reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Changing your filter every two months will keep your system running smoothly. Also, be sure to have your furnace tuned up annually by a licensed HVAC contractor.
Use Your Winter Ceiling Fan…
Ceiling fans are also a great resource for winter! Prepare to get mind blown! Most fans have a switch that will allow you to control the fan blade rotation. For example, in the summer, the fan blades spin counterclockwise to blow down cool air. However, in the winter you can reverse the rotation so they blow up, forcing warm air from the ceiling down to your level.
Insulate Your Pipes
Pipe insulation can come by foam or rubber sleeves that you just slip onto the pipe. This will help reduce heat loss by keeping the water running through the pipes warm. It will also help your system work less to heat up the water resulting in saving energy and money!
Proactive preparation will not only save you energy and money but will also help you and your family live comfortably in your home through the cold winter months.