Need To Winterize Your Home? Here Are Five Ways To Help You Be Better Prepared
Winter is coming.
As you prepare to put up the tree and hang the lights this holiday season, it’s important to remember to prepare your house for the winter, too.
Don’t forget to take these steps to get your home ready for the cold.
- Clean the Gutters
Clear the leaves and debris that have accumulated to ensure water can flow freely. This will help prevent icicles from forming in the winter. It’s vital to clean the gutters to avoid them getting damaged, which can lead to expensive repairs. To top it off, when gutters pile up with leaves, twigs and other debris, it can cause contaminants like mold and mildew to spread throughout your home.
- Protect Your Pipes
Water expands when it freezes, causing pipes to burst and water to spew throughout your home. To protect your pipes, make sure to shut off all outside faucets and drain water out of valves. For particularly vulnerable pipes, heat cables are a smart solution, as they have built-in-thermostats that turn the heat on and off as needed to prevent freezing. If you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, turn your water off at the main shutoff so you don’t come home to frozen pipes.
- Flush Your Hot Water Heater
This is an often overlooked, yet simple way to make your water heater run more efficiently. Gunk and other mineral deposits build up in the heater over time, so it’s important to flush it through the drain valve every 1-3 years. This will not only make the heater run more efficiently, it will improve your water quality as well.
- Keep the Cold Out
Cold air coming into the house can lead to higher gas bills. To keep the cold weather outside, caulk around your windows and use foam outlet protectors. You can also use thermal lined curtains or drapes to prevent cold air from slipping through window cracks.
- Bring In/Protect Outdoor Items
Outdoor equipment and furniture can be damaged by cold weather or snow. Protect your grill with a cover and move your furniture into the garage or basement, if possible. Plants and flowering trees should also be brought inside before temperatures drop below 45 degrees.