11 Effective Tips to Winterize your Home
Winters are about to knock our doors soon. Its time homeowners brace themselves to prepare their homes into cozy nests to enjoy the season without any plumbing hassles troubling them. Before the cold wintery winds frost your windowpanes, make sure you have prepared your house with the help of this winterization checklist.
Seal the cracks: Sealing the cracks is the primary defense against the cold and wet weathers. Inspect your homes for holes and openings in areas like waste and water pipes, window and door frames, basement floors and walls, outlet boxes, supply ducts. Seal the holes with caulk and install weather stripping around doors, windows and air conditioners to make your energy efficient and well insulated.
Inspect the gutters: Unclog your gutters by removing any debris blocking the drainage of water. It will allow proper drainage on the roof edge and prevent the formation of ice dams. Also, check the insulation of your attic. Make sure it is well ventilated and its temperatures stays 10 degrees higher than outside. A properly air sealed attic minimizes the heating bill and reduces melting of snow on the roof; thus, preventing icicles on your roof edge.
Freeze proof your pipes: You can insulate your pipes with foam pipe insulation sleeves without disconnecting the pipes. These sleeves could be used on water supply lines that are present inside the house, it the attic, in the garage, crawl space and more. Insulation of pipes will refrain the outside cold temperature to free the water inside the water pipes and prevent leaks and bursts.
Whenever there is a cold snap forecast, turn on the faucets to let the cold-water flow as moving water does not freeze. You can also consider installing an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system to prevent bursting of pipes due to increased pressure.
Know the location of main water shutoff valve: In case your pipes freeze, turning off the water shut off valve can save your pipes from bursting. Sometimes, it turns off with a help of a plier. It is advisable to get familiarized with your house’s main water shut off valve and learn the process to turn in off in advance.
Regulate your thermostat: According to energy.gov, adjusting your thermostat at 7°-10°F less than the normal setting can save you around 10% a year. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it at 68°F when awake or inside the house and at lower temperature when asleep or outside to be energy efficient throughout the season.
Finetune your furnace: Make sure to clean out all the dust and dirt collected inside the furnaces to allow it to run efficiently and to maintain the air quality. A clean furnace filter helps to heat the house faster. Make sure you replace the filters every three months.
Similarly, sweep your chimneys to remove the debris and soot and deep clean your boilers once a year to avoid any kind of fire and smoke damage.
Protect your tankless water heaters: Install your tankless water heater at a warm location if feasible to prevent freezing of water. Insulate the pipes that are outside the heater. If your water heater has a built-in electric heater, make sure it stays plugged in and there is continuous supply of electricity. Drain out all the water if planning to go out for an extended period.
Trim the trees: Look around for extended branches of the trees peeping inside your porch. Remove any dead branches and trim the trees to prevent injury or damage to your vehicle as ice, snow and wind weaken the branches making them vulnerable to break.
Bring the plants indoors: Bring your plants inside your home to save them from the deadly impact of icy cold winds and snow. Make sure you create a place for them inside before the temperature drops to 45°F.
Mind your detectors: Check your smoke and fire alarms well in advance as the probability of residential fires rises in the winter season. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to detect emission of toxic gases inside the house.
Fix broken stairs and handrails: Broken stairs and handrails can become the cause of grave injuries once they get covered with snow. Make sure you do all the repair work before the first cold snap.