Monday, September 23, 2013

11 Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Winter

11 Ways to Get Your Home Ready For Winter 

1. Clean Your Gutters 
        Clean out the leaves and debris in your gutter 
        (I suggest wearing cleaning gloves if you're  
        planning on doing it by hand). Clogged gutters  
        can cost you thousands of dollars if not done.  
        The water will find a way to get into your wall  
        and ceiling. Nobody is a fan of cleaning gutters, 
        but we all have to do it. Get rid of leaves, twigs,  
        and whatever else decided to land up there.  
        Once clean run water down the gutters. Check for leaks  
        and make sure that the water is running through 
        the downspouts. The water is supposed to flow 
        away from the house's foundation, so it doesn't         
        cause flooding and damage.  
2. Block Air Leaks 
        Air Leaks are also known as "Drafts". Walk around the  
        house and try to feel where the cold air is coming from. 
        You'll be able to feel it around windows and doors.  
        The most significant air leaks will be in your 
        basement and attic(since most people forget about them). 
        Common Air Leaks 
        *Behind Knee Walls 
        *Attic Hatch 
        *Wiring Holes 
        *Plumbing Vent 
        *Open Soffit 
        *Recessed Light 
        *Furnace Flue or Duct Chaseways, the hollow box or wall 
        feature that hides ducts 
        *Basement Rim Joists, where the foundation meets the 
        wood framing 
        *Windows and Doors 
        Make sure you block all of these and your home 
        will be easier to keep warm. Your gas bill should 
        also drop. 
3. Insulate 
        Yes it will cost a little bit, but it will save you 
        money in the long run. Adding insulation will pay 
        for itself when it reduces utility bills. 
4. Check The Furnace 
        Don't wait till it's really cold outside to turn on your 
        furnace. Check it now, make sure it's working.  
        It's natural for it to smell when you fire it up 
        for the first time this season. Open your windows  
        and let the house breath. If the smell lasts a long time 
        turn off the furnace and call a professional. 
        -Change your furnace filters regularly throughout Winter 
5. Check Your Ducts 
        Check for loose connections and joints that have come 
        apart. Look for rips or tears, or crushed ducts. 
        Make sure to also clean and inspect your vents around  
        the area it enters the room.  
6. Storm Windows 
        Take down your Screen Window, or side it to the side  
        depending on what type of windows you have. Then put in  
        or slide your Storm Windows. Simple, it should only 
        take a few minutes per window. 
7. Check Chimney 
        Use a flashlight, check for leaves, sticks, debris, or 
        dead animals. If it seems extremely dirty call a  
        professional. Chimney caps with screens keep animals, 
        and debris from falling in, I suggest you invest in one.         
8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans 
        Appreciate your ceiling fan. Your fan has a reverse  
        button right by the blades. In Summer time your fan 
        should rotate Counterclockwise, which produces a cool  
        breeze. In Winter time, rotate Clockwise, it will  
        bring down the warm air that naturally rises to the top. 
9. Wrap Outside Pipes 
        Wrap outside pipes with tubular sleeves or fiberglass  
        insulation. Make sure you cover the sillcock. Turn off  
        the water, then remove your hose(put it away). Then  
        cover it with a towel, tie it around. Or purchase a  
        sillcock cover for the Winter. 
10. Turn Off Valves To Sillcocks 
        Even though you've already wrapped it for Winter,  
        you should still shut off the valve.  
11. Check Alarms 
        Change the batteries in your smoke alarms, make 
        sure it's working properly.