With winter weather creeping in, it’s time to prepare your home for frigid temperatures and winter storms. Winterizing your home will not only keep you warm, but it will help you save money on your energy bill and keep your home from accruing damages due to things like burst pipes and broken gutters.
1. Install Attic Insulation and Seal Air Leaks
If you do not have an insulated attic, your home is losing a ton of warm air and forcing your heating system to work much harder than it needs to. You can reduce your energy consumption with a properly insulated attic whilst remaining comfortable throughout the year.
When it comes to warm air escaping from your home, there is another less-suspecting culprit: electrical outlets. Warm air tend to escape around electrical outlets, after all, they are holes in the wall, usually without any form of insulation covering the cracks they create. In order to combat these draft-causing gaps, you can purchase electrical outlet gasket covers. Gasket covers are inexpensive and will help to keep your home warm, while also helping your heating system run more efficiently.
2. Insulate Pipes
Frozen pipes cause more than just headaches each winter. When frozen pipes burst, they can cause damage to your home in many ways, depending on what floor of your home the pipe bursts on. If a second-floor pipe bursts, you could be dealing with drywall, floor, electrical, and insulation damages.
You can protect yourself from frozen pipes by insulating exposed pipes. Pipe insulation is cheap and effective. Wrapping exposed pipes in your basement, under sinks, and outdoors will help protect you from water damage.
Also, don’t forget, turn off your home’s sprinkler system and detach outside hoses from spouts. If you forget these two steps in defending against frozen pipes, you are at higher risk of paying for new pipes plus fixing whatever damage the water from these pipes leaves behind.
3. Change Furnace Filters
Regularly changing furnace filter is an important habit, but it’s easy to forget. Winter weather is a great reminder that it may be time to change your filter. Replacing your filter will help your heating system run more efficiently. When your heating system runs more efficiently, it helps you stay warm and save money.
4. Seal Your Windows
Winterizing your home includes sealing your windows. Aside from your attic and electrical outlets, windows are also a source of escaped air. Windows can be sealed in a variety of ways depending on how large the gap or crack is that is letting air escape. You can caulk your windows or apply weather stripping. Also, a less aesthetically pleasing but very effective way to seal your window is with insulation film. The best method to seal your windows is determined by your unique situation. If you need help determining what is the best way to seal your window, or if you want to replace your windows all together, contact one of our home improvement specialists.
5. Clean Gutters
Another part of winterizing your home is cleaning out your gutters. With fall ending, most leaves have fallen and many can be found in your gutters. You will want to clean out your gutters and downspouts before it snows. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and it starts to snow, you may see flooding around your home where the backup is occurring once the snow and ice starts to melt. This will also put extra weight in your gutters and increase your chances of finding a gutter hanging from the roof of your home.
6. Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
Winterizing your home doesn’t allows include manual labor. Work smarter, not harder with programmable and smart thermostats. These thermostats are great ways to ensure that your heating system is working as efficiently as possible. These thermostats give you the ability to automate your home’s heating system and optimize the time it spends running. You can read more about smart and programmable thermostats in our blog post, “How to Choose a Smart Thermostat.”
7. Flush Your Water Heater
Although, we do not recommend doing this on your own, if you have not had your water heater serviced in a couple of years, it may not be running as efficiently as possible and this will only become more obvious as the temperature drops and your showers take longer to heat up or you find yourself running out of hot water quickly.
One thing you can do to help your water heater run more efficiently is to schedule a licensed professional to come and flush your water heater to clear it of sediment that builds up in water heaters over time. Schedule your water heater service with BGE HOME today.
Keep your family warm and your home safe with these seven winter preparation tips. From attic insulation to basement pipes, there are ways to get every part of your home ready for cold weather and winter storms.