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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winterize Your Home This Season: 2020 Checklist

11/1/2020 (Permalink)

photo of houses with snow on ground and icicles hanging from roofs Stay cozy during the coldest months of the year by winterizing your home.

As the leaves begin to change and cold air moves in, it’s the time of year to take steps to winterize your home to help prevent any winter-related disasters and keep your energy costs low. Winterizing your home is a task that can be finished in just a weekend, is low-cost, and will benefit you all winter. Follow these tips for winterizing your home to have a warm and prepared home all winter long.  

Winterizing Your Home: 20 Tips

  1. Clean out gutters and downspouts of any debris, leaves, or branches.
  2. Buy a snow shovel and ice melt so you're ready for the first snow or ice storm before it hits. This way, you can avoid the pre-storm crowds.
  3. Bring all of your outdoor furniture inside your shed, garage, or basement.
  4. Seal cracks and other openings around windows and doors to help prevent cold air from entering your living spaces.
  5. Purchase and install door draft stoppers for all exterior, basement, and attic doors to keep heat in your living spaces.
  6. Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise so that they push hot air from the ceiling down to the floor.
  7. Put out area rugs or carpets to keep floors warm.
  8. Replace the filters in your furnace and HVAC system to improve energy efficiency and keep up air quality.
  9. Prevent water pipes from freezing or bursting: Insulate any pipes that run along outer walls or are in non-heated areas like attics or garages. During extreme cold, open up the cabinets under sinks to make sure they do not freeze. 
  10. Winterize your hose: Fully drain the hose and the source pipe, bring the hose inside, and shut off the water to the hose valve to prevent any freezing or bursting. The shutoff is likely in your basement or garage, depending on where the hose is located. 
  11. Seal windows to prevent cold air drafts: This can be done by putting up window insulation film or cling wrap (which doesn't look great - but will save you money) or by using weatherstrip tape to seal the edges of windows and doors.
  12. If you don't plan on using your chimney and it doesn't have a way to close it up, purchase and install a chimney balloon. These help keep cold drafts from coming down through the fireplace and prevents warm air from escaping.
  13. If you don't already have one, get a programmable thermostat. The newer ones can be put on an automatic schedule to turn down the heat when you leave and warm the house back up before you arrive home.
  14. Be sure to check that all fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working and change batteries as needed.
  15. Get out your thick, winter curtains and hang them to help prevent heat loss at windows or slider doors. 
  16. Install storm doors or windows for an extra layer of draft protection if you don’t already have them.
  17. Make sure furniture isn't blocking any vents, making it easier to keep your house warm.
  18. If your property is plowed during the winter, put stakes in the ground around the driveway, mailbox, or anything else that you don't want run over by a plow.
  19. Be sure your attic is completely and properly insulated. Heat escaping into your attic can drive up energy costs - but it can also warm your roof, cause ice dams to form, and cause roof leaks and water damage.
  20. Check for any disconnected ductwork. This can happen over time, and results in warm air being let out into attics or basements instead of your living space.

Taking steps to winterize your home will keep heating costs down, keep your home warm, and make you feel prepared for whatever winter throws your way this season. 

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