29 Sep 10 Money-Saving Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Preparing your home for winter can save money in the long run. Below are 10 money-saving winterizing tips from Harrington Homes. A handy homeowner can do most of these but some will require the services of a professional.
- Caulk Windows and Door Frames
Heat escapes out openings in the caulking and sealing. Check gaps between the siding and windows or door frames. Apply a silicone exterior caulk to any gaps bigger than the thickness of a nickel. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Check the joints in window and door frames. Adjusting the threshold on exterior doors, installing a sweep seals the space at the bottom of the door and adding weather stripping on the top and sides will help keep out chilly drafts.
- Check for Peeling Paint
Inspect exterior walls for any peeling or blistering paint. Maintaining the exterior paint will protect your house from the elements, preventing costly repairs later.
- Inspect the Roof
Inspect the roof for missing and loose shingles. You can do this safely from the ground using a pair of binoculars. If you see something that needs attention, call a roofing contractor.
- Clean the Gutters
Debris in your gutters may cause water to back up against the house, causing leaks, ice dams and damage to roofing, siding and wood trim. Consider replacing damaged gutters or ones that have pulled away from the house, with new leaf guard gutters. Add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.
- Drain Your Irrigation System
Have a professional drain sprinker-system pipes to prevent freezing and leaks.
- Turn Off Exterior Faucets
Water in connected hoses can freeze causing pipes to burst as the ice expands. Disconnect all garden hoses.
- Check Your Heating System
Heating systems use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems if properly serviced by a licensed heating contractor. Have the contractor inspect your heating system to be sure it is clean and in good repair and measure carbon-monoxide leakage.
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down heated air from the ceiling.
- Clean the Condenser Fins of the Air Conditioner
Condenser fins get dirty because the central fan sucks air through them, pulling in dead leaves, grass clippings, cottonwood fluff, dandelion seeds and dust. Refer to your maintenance manual for instructions on how to clean the condenser fins or contact a heating and cooling contractor. This one could be done in the spring.
- Clean the Deck
Clean deck boards with a hose and scrub-broom to reduce decaying matter in the wood fibers. Remove any debris stuck between the boards. Check for molds and mildews growing in cracks and crevices in the wood and treat with a mold removal product recommended for your type of deck boards. Rain and snow moisture can cause planters to stain the deck boards, so move them to the garage for the winter.