How To Winterize Your Home

Preparing your home for winter should be started early enough to make sure that you do it well. The fall Equinox is a good time to start winterizing your home because this is when the temperatures begin to drop. The following things are some of the things you should do to winterize your home.

Insulate the home

Keeping warm through winter is very crucial for you,even if you will have to pay a little extra for adding insulation to the existing insulation in the attic. You at least need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

When adding insulation, avoid

using the Kraft face finish which has a paper backing because it acts a vapor barrier which can cause moisture to build up in the insulation system.

Clean up the gutters

After the leaves have fallen, remove them from the gutters by either hand or use a scraper and finish up with a good hose rinse. When the gutters are clear of leaves and debris, then melting snow and the winter’s rain can drain well.
A clogged drain can form ice dams,whereby the water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into your home causing damage. When you are cleaning the gutters look for leaks and any misaligned pipes that need replacement.

How to Winterize Your Home
Published on December 31, 2011 by wandys in Home and Garden
How to Winterize Your Home

Seal any obvious leaks around your house that can damage your house both inside and outside of the house.

Preparing your home for winter should be started early enough to make sure that you do it well. The fall Equinox is a good time to start winterizing your home because this is when the temperatures begin to drop. The following things are some of the things you should do to winterize your home.

Insulate the home

Keeping warm through winter is very crucial for you,even if you will have to pay a little extra for adding insulation to the existing insulation in the attic. You at least need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

When adding insulation, avoid using the Kraft face finish which has a paper backing because it acts a vapor barrier which can cause moisture to build up in the insulation system.

Clean up the gutters

After the leaves have fallen, remove them from the gutters by either hand or use a scraper and finish up with a good hose rinse. When the gutters are clear of leaves and debris, then melting snow and the winter’s rain can drain well.
A clogged drain can form ice dams,whereby the water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into your home causing damage. When you are cleaning the gutters look for leaks and any misaligned pipes that need replacement.
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Seal the gaps

Seal any obvious leaks around your house that can damage your house both inside and outside of the house. Find a plumber to help you with sealing off all the leaks on your house.

Check the furnace

Keeping warm during winter is crucial, that is why you must check your furnace to make sure that it is working well. If you can smell a strong odd short lasting smell when you turn on the furnace, this is normal but if the smell lasts for a long time, turn off the furnace immediately and have it checked by a professional for any faults. You can call an HVAC professional who will inspect your furnace and clean the ducts.

You furnace should be cleaned and tuned annually to keep it in a tip top condition. You can have an professional service the furnace for you. The filters should be changed regularly because a dirty filter will impede air flow and reduce the efficiency or even cause a fire. Remove any flammable material around your furnace to avoid fire a outbreak

Check your ducts

According to a report by the U.S Department of Energy, a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of the heated air before the air can reach the vents if the ducts are not well connected and insulated. Ducts are usually exposed in the attic, the basement and crawl spaces. You should repair places where the pipes are pinched and a s result impeding the flow

of heated air to the house.
Fix all the gaps with a metal backed tape for proper sealing. Ducts should be cleaned with a vacuum after a few years so that all the accumulated dust, animal hair and any other dirt that gathers in the ducts can be harmful to your health if inhaled.

Reinforce your windows

Take down the window screens ans replace them with storm windows which will provide an extra layer of protection and wartm for your home. Storm windows are helpful, especially if you have old or single pane windows. You can also replace your old windows with new ones if your windows are old and leaky.

Another way to make you window winter proof is by using a window insulator kit if you are on a tight budget and can not afford to replace your windows with new ones or storm windows.

Clean your chimney

Remember to clean your chimney before you use your fireplace. Your chimney may need a sweep at least once a year, inspecting the chimney should also be done before the next use just to make sure that the chimney is clear of dirt, debris and any other objects such as tennis balls

Wrap the pipes

You should wrap up those pipes, a burst pipe caused a winter freeze is too much of a nightmare to handle. Check all the pipes to make sure that there are none that are leaking.

Look for pipes that are not insulated and pass through unheated spaces such as the crawlspaces, basements or garages. You can wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation which is available in most hardware stores. You can also wrap the pipes with heating tape to avoid freezing of the pipe.

Check all the alarms

It is important for you to check all the alarm systems, to make sure that all the detectors and alarms are functional. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector should be tested to make sure that they are working well. You may also want to check your fire extinguisher to make sure it is in the right place and has all the necessary accessories.

Check for cracks and crevices

You should check the exterior of your doors and windows for any crevices, cracks and any exposed entry points around pipes. These should be sealed. Use weatherstripping around the doors to prevent cold air from entering the house and caulk windows.

Replace any worn out roof shingles or tiles on your house to seal off any entry points that can cause leaks on the roof.

Make sure that you service or tune all the snow blowers, replace worn out rakes and snow shovels, Drain gas from your lawnmowers and keep them in storage.

Work on your landscape

Prune the trees and flowers in your landscape to prevent them from getting damaged during winter. Cut of tree branches that are hanging close to electrical wire or the house.

Prepare an emergency kit for winter

Make sure that you have indoor candles and matches in case you experience a power outage in winter. Have an emergency contact list with phone numbers of companies that offer you utilities. Have extra drinking bottled water and dry foods, blankets and a first aid kit in the event that you need them during winter.

You must have an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency, remember to have an already packed suitcase with a few personal belongings and clothes just in case you have to leave the house immediately.


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