10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the leafless trees, early nights, and layer of frost every morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you still have time. Follow these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter. 

1. Schedule Maintenance for Your Home’s Heating 

Your furnace has been inactive all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, request a visit from a qualified technician to examine, clean and tune up the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in good shape over the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership

2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected 

Hire a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once a year. This service removes ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can cause chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition. 

3. Seal Air Leaks 

As you prepare to run your furnace in cold weather, try to find and seal air leaks that enable cold outdoor air to get inside. The quickest way to find leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick near areas that might be leaky, like near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks up with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam. 

4. Use Ceiling Fans in Reverse 

Ceiling fans keep you cool over the summer, but they can also disperse warm air down to the living space during the winter. For the best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This tactic is best used in stairwells and rooms with tall ceilings. 

5. Install Insulating Drapes 

A different way to winterize your home is to exchange light, summery window coverings for thicker, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for added insulation against the frigid night air. 

6. Insulate Your Pipes 

As the temperature falls, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Install foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape under the insulation provides an extra layer of protection in especially cold climates. 

7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances increases the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. Use caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functional. Then, put in CO detectors on every floor of your home, particularly outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and change the batteries twice yearly. 

8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat 

Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by upgrading to a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings fine-tune the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a modern option where you can adjust the settings remotely using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice. 

9. Prevent Ice Dams 

Ice dams are ridges of ice that appear along the eaves, preventing melted snow from falling off the roof. When ignored, ice dams can allow water to flow under the shingles and damage structures in the attic. Follow these tips to prevent ice dams this winter: 

  • Clean the gutters so water can drain properly. 
  • Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath. 
  • Seal attic floor penetrations to stop heated air from rising through the ceiling. 
  • Insulate the attic floor to further reduce heat transfer through the ceiling. 
  • Seal and insulate ductwork inside the attic. 
  • Make sure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outdoors, not into the attic. 

10. Keep Deicer Close By 

Slips and falls are more common in freezing winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer across the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Don’t forget to read the directions for proper application tips and recommended precautions. 

Winterizing Your Home with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for winter weather. For more information about our services or to {request|schedule|arrange]] an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.