Brrrrrr…..it’s cold out there, baby! If it feels cold to you, it feels cold to your house too.
What if we told you that a few simple steps to winterize your home could save your home, help save the environment, and best of all, save you money? No matter what neighborhood you live in, learning how to winterize your home for our harsh environment should be a priority before January sets in.
1. Protect the Pipes
While protecting your pipes from freezing won’t necessarily keep you warm, it will protect you from one of the most expensive repair bills a homeowner could receive. Prevent burst pipes by insulating exposed pipes in the uninsulated corners of your home, like in crawlspaces and attics, by wrapping them in electrical heating tape and then insulating them in foam insulation.
No, it’s not a fun or clean job. But it’s easy and will save you a bundle of cash for years to come.
2. Insulate Windows and Doors
An uninsulated door or window doesn’t pose the same risks as uninsulated pipes. Still, you can save plenty of dollars on heating and energy by preventing cold air from leaking through and around entrances.
The best and easiest way to reduce drafts is through weatherstripping, caulking, sticking draft-stop door snakes under doors, putting up heavier curtains, or installing insulating window film over windows and unused sliding doors.
If you really want to impress guests and keep winter outside, look into installing exterior barn doors outside your sliding glass doors. You’ll be warm and toasty inside without ever having to mess with your screen doors.
2. Check the roof
Not many people think about it, but winter weather really puts strain and stress on your home’s roof. Everything from strong winds and snow build-up can hurt your roof, and a damaged roof can reduce your home’s value.
Prepare your roof for the woes of winter by hiring a professional to inspect your roof and provide any recommendations. It’s also a good time for you to clear out the gutters if you haven’t done so already.
3. Clean Out the Fireplace
Those of us fortunate enough to have a fireplace to keep us warm with fresh flames also have the duty of keeping both the fireplace and chimney clean. A blocked chimney is a surefire fire hazard.
For a nominal fee, a chimney sweep will have your fireplace cleaned, inspected, and ready for you to fire up on a cold winter’s night.
4. Protect Your Yard
If you’re not too concerned about the color of your lawn, when it comes to preparing your backyard for winter, you won’t spend more than an hour or two.
Cover up your patio furniture, so it isn’t too harshly weathered or damaged by ice. It would help if you also considered giving your deck a fresh coat of sealer, as well as emptying the gasoline of your lawnmower or any other gas-powered equipment.
To prevent any damages to water fountains or pools, unplug pumps, drain them of any water, and give them a final cleaning.
Plants shouldn’t be ignored, even if they go dormant for the winter. Move potted plants indoors and near windows to still get sunlight without being damaged by the cold. Add a mulch layer and straw to act as an insulator for any plants that can’t be moved indoors.
Tender plants should be wrapped in an old blanket on, particularly snowy or cold nights. It would be best if you also considered building a ventilated cold frame or greenhouse.
5. Set the Thermostat Lower
As winter comes in, cold and warm days might fluctuate, and it’s a waste to keep fidgeting with your thermostat, especially if you live in an older home or apartment.
Pick a good temperature for when your home is occupied, and then one for when you’re not at home. Consider investing in a smart thermostat, as well as just dressing warmer (and joining in on the newfound popularity of adult onesies).
Maybe You’d Rather Downsize
These home winterizing tips might be pretty easy, but you’re sick of doing it year after year. Maybe you’re ready to downsize into a maintenance-free condo instead. We get it. Nothing beats owning your own home. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a hassle. We have townhomes and condos that are just as beautiful without all the stress.
Contact one of your realtors at Eng Garcia and see what inventory is available for you to see.