Winterize Your Home:
With just a few steps, you can head off unexpected repairs and boost your home’s energy efficiency so you save money all year long.
According to: www.ready.gov/winter-weather
- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic. The simple act of installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%, by sealing drafts and reducing air flow.
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Check the chimney. Your chimney doesn’t necessarily need to be swept every single year, but it does need an annual inspection. Wood stoves, however, should be swept more often — as soon as they’ve accumulated a quarter of an inch of creosote.
- Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Reverse ceiling fans. Ceiling fans aren’t only for summertime cooling. Now’s the time to reverse ceiling fans (look for a small switch on the body of the fan) to turn clockwise and recirculate warm air downward.
- Trim trees. Trim tree branches near your windows, roof, or parking areas before the weight of winter ice and snow can cause them to snap.
Winter heating costs can double if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date. Ensuring your home is ready for winter can save you time and money.