Winter is quickly approaching. Is your home ready? While you may think that it’s as simple as turning on your heat, winterizing your home can help you make your home a cozy and more efficient place to be as temperatures drop.
Take the few extra steps this winter to help your home function at its best. Winterizing your home is the best way to prepare for the cold temperatures ahead. See a few extra tips on how you can prepare your home for the cold this year.
Checklist For Winterizing Your Home
If you’ve never considered winterizing your home, now might be the time. It’s a huge benefit to the overall comfort of your home as well as your wallet. While you may have to invest upfront in new forms of insulation and inspection, it can help save you money on energy in the future. It’s a good idea to start winterizing your home before winter actually begins, but these tasks can still be useful as the colder weather nears. If you are ready to get your home ready for winter, here are some tasks to add to your to-do list:
- Update your home’s insulation
- Insulate your windows
- Door weather stripping
- HVAC inspection & repairs
- Change furnace filter
- Winterize your exterior
Update Your Insulation
If you’ve noticed that your home takes longer to warm up lately, it might be a sign that it’s time to update your insulation. This is particularly true if you live in an older home. Often, they weren’t designed in a way that promoted energy-efficiency. When winterizing a home, it’s best to call a pro who can help you identify where you might need to replace your insulation for maximum savings. They can also help you determine if there are any air leaks in the house that could be letting out the warmth.
Insulate Windows For Winter
In any home, new or old, it’s a good idea to insulate your windows for winter. This is a project you can do yourself and is budget-friendly. There are various ways you can do this. Most hardware stores sell window insulation kits that include the materials you’ll need. Another tactic is with bubble wrap, which can be more effective in keeping the warm air from escaping, as the air inside adds extra insulation. Cut strips of bubble wrap to the size of your windows and adhere with double-sided tape.
Door Weather Stripping
I’m sure you’re familiar with the awful feeling of a cold-burst of air when someone walks into your home. While you can’t stop people from coming in and out of your home, you can mitigate the effects. Over time, your door’s weather stripping can become damaged from the elements. This creates unwelcome drafts of cold. New weather stripping can often be done yourself and save you money.
When extreme cold hits, the last thing you want is a broken furnace. Before the winter begins, make sure you inspect your HVAC to ensure it’s working properly. It’s also a good time to change your furnace filter. If you’re wondering how often you should change your furnace filter, the EPA recommends every month during winter, as a dirty filter can slow down your HVAC’s efficiency to warm your home.
If you’re inspecting your heater and you find that it needs a repair, don’t wait until it’s too late. The average cost to repair a furnace is $267, with most homeowners spending between $160 and $268. You’ll be grateful you took care of all the repairs needed before the bitter cold begins!
Winterize Your Exterior
While there’s a lot of focus on the interior of your home when preparing for winter, you should consider your exterior as well. If your lawn and exterior is not properly prepared, you could end up with damage due to ice or a difficult start to your landscaping next year. Here are a few ways to prepare:
Your lawn will thank you in the spring if you took the time to prepare it for the cold weather ahead. Rake all your leaves, ideally before the first snow. Once you’ve cut your lawn for the last time, you’ll want to make sure your lawn mower is also ready for the cold ahead. Don’t leave gas sitting in the lawn mower over the winter. A fuel stabilizer will help keep your gas ready for spring if you haven’t run out yet. Clean off your lawn mower and remove the battery if applicable.
Gutters & Rain Barrels
Standing water is a huge concern for homeowners, as it can easily become damaging ice. Drain rain barrels completely and remove the water connection. Now is a great time for a final gutter cleaning, as debris can cause water to stand, resulting in gutter or roof damage. If you find any gutter damage, have it repaired by a pro immediately.
You can have a warm and cozy home this winter, it just takes a few steps to give you complete peace of mind. Take the steps to make sure your home is as efficient as possible.