The fall is a busy time for everyone, particularly homeowners. Preparing for the winter involves a slew of tasks, from making sure that the outside of your home is ready for the elements to reviving your interior design to reflect the change in season. Performing preventative maintenance can go a long way to ensure you won’t have to deal with any emergencies in the middle of winter, emergencies that almost always seem to come at the worst possible times, like when family is visiting for the holidays.
We want to make sure that our homeowners get through the cold season without incident, so last week we asked our home improvement experts about the most important winterization projects. Our team of experts responded with a laundry list of tips for bundling up your house against the elements. Below, we’ve displayed our award winning expert tips for winterizing your home this year.
Hurry back at the end of the week to see our final wrap up post about preparing your home for the chilly months ahead!
How Should Homeowners Winterize Their Home?
What are the most important winterization steps?
How does winterization differ based on geographic region where the cold months present themselves in different ways?
What are the most overlooked winterization projects?
What home improvement projects are best suited for the fall? What home systems are most vulnerable?
"I like to look at doors, windows and insulation first. Companies have infrared cameras that show you where you are losing heat out of your home. The companies that do this are worth the cost to keep the money in your pocket.
One of the most overlooked winterization projects are your garage doors. I often see people leave garage doors open which allows heat to escape the home more easily. Close your garage doors and save money. The worst is when people heat the garage area with non-insulated doors and the heat escapes. If you have old doors, replacing them is a good winterization project." read more
"Beyond the usual re-caulking of windows and looking for drafts I would recommend walking around your home, under the deck and around to those parts that you just don’t walk by very often. And for the areas you walk by all the time stop and take a close look at trim that may have separated or have gaps; foliage that has grown too close to the house or signs of vermin. Always check your roof and gutters too." read more
"The plumbing system is very susceptible to winter issues, especially if your home is in a colder region, like the Midwest or Northeast. Winterizing home plumbing includes some of the more dreaded outdoor chores like cleaning the gutters.
Not to mention, frozen pipes can be one of the most costly and overall messy winter home disasters, so proper seasonal plumbing maintenance is extremely important in this regard." read more
"Here’s a brand new playlist of 15 actions you can take to winterize your home:
1. Install storm windows
2. Insulate and seal ductwork
3. Install insulated window treatments
4. Use a draft guard in windows or doors
5. Add insulation to your pipes
6. Upgrade your heating system to a high-efficiency model
7. Upgrade your windows to dual-pane with Low-E
8. Rely on passive solar for heat
9. Insulate your water heater
10. Weatherstrip your windows
11. Install insulating window shutters
12. Add insulation to your walls
13. Add insulation to your roof
14. Add insulation to your basement
15. Install a programmable thermostat" read more
"Seal it up! Ten to thirty percent of heated air escapes in the average duct system. Therefore, it could be beneficial to hire a professional to inspect for any problems. You should also add a draft snake to the bottom of your door – a rolled bath towel does just fine! Lastly, use caulking and weather stripping to close corners where different materials meet.
Winterize your water lines by draining any water hoses and air conditioner pipes and make sure you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment. If you’re A/C has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off.
Run your fans in reverse. Your fan is set to run counterclockwise and produce a cool breeze. Make sure to switch it to run clockwise and ensure that air pooled near the ceiling is pooled back into your living space.
The most overlooked winterization project is actually remembering that you can receive Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency. The federal government will reimburse you for 30 percent of the cost, up to $1,500 for highly efficient insulation." read more