10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter is in full swing. You can tell by the leafless trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost every morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it isn’t too late. Run through these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.

1. Plan for Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment

Your furnace has been dormant all summer. To get it ready for another heating season, schedule a visit from a qualified technician to evaluate, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in great shape through the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.

2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected

Get a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also grants you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition.

3. Seal Air Leaks

As you start to run your furnace in cold weather, look for and seal air leaks that enable cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to find leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick all around areas that could be leaky, such as near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find 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 distribute warm air down to the living space during the winter. For best results, set your fans on low and flip the switch to run them in reverse. This tactic is most effective in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.

5. Install Insulating Drapes

Another way to winterize your home is to trade out thin, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Remember to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun can warm your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for added insulation against the brisk night air.

6. Insulate Your Pipes

As the temperature dips, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to keep this from happening. Electric heat tape underneath the insulation provides an additional layer of protection in particularly frigid climates.

7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances raises the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning over the winter. Use caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, especially outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and swap out the batteries twice yearly.

8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by installing a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings fine-tune the temperature throughout the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option with the capability to modify the settings remotely by 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 draining off the roof. Left unaddressed, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structural elements in the attic. Use these tips to prevent ice dams this winter:

    • Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
    • Ventilate the attic to stop heat buildup that can melt snow from underneath.
    • 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 up in the attic.
    • Confirm your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside the house, not into the attic.

10. Keep Deicer Handy

Slips and falls are notably common in icy winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by sprinkling salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer across the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for specific application tips and suggested precautions.

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

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

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