Winterizing is preparing your house for winter, just like you adjust your wardrobe for yourself. You get out those big winter coats and don’t forget the hot cocoa! Maybe you know you should winterize your house, but you think, “I’m so busy. When will I have time?” If these tips seem overwhelming, try splitting these chores up into mini projects and tackle one per weekend.
Insulate Your Pipes
Do you have pipes that are uninsulated and in unheated parts of the home? When the weather gets below freezing, you run the risk of burst pipes.
The places to check are:
- In the outside walls of your home
- Garage (especially if it is an unattached garage)
- Crawl space
- Unheated basement
You’ll want to wrap your pipes to prevent freezing. You can use fiberglass insulation or foam rubber sleeves, both of which you can find at local hardware stores. If the pipe is in a particularly vulnerable spot (such as your well), you may want to use heating tape (this is an electrical cord that will radiate heat).
Check For Leaks in Your Home
You can find leaks in your home by walking the house with a lit candle on a breezy day. Watch the smoke; you’ll quickly identify where your leaks are by how the smoke moves. Once you’ve identified leaks, try blocking with caulk.
Evaluate Your Heating System
Keeping your heating system in shape will keep your winter bills to a minimum. Vacuum out your vents and have an HVAC expert clean out your ducts before winter sets in. Try keeping doors open so there is airflow at all times, and make sure your furnace and hot water heater are functioning at optimal capacity.
Keep the Heat on Even When You Aren’t Home
You might think you’re saving yourself money if you turn off the heat when you leave your home, but your house is just going to have to work extra hard to catch up when you get back. Buy an automatic thermostat and set it so the heat drops ten degrees, but no more, when you are gone. This way your pipes stay warm enough, and you don’t tax your furnace when it tries to catch up again.
If you take these precautions, you’ll reduce your chances of burst pipes. Of course we’re happy to serve you if your pipes do burst, but we’d rather help you prevent a burst pipe emergency if we can!
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