Winter Preparation: Keeping Your Home in Good Shape
Winter preparation of your home is something that’s important for a variety of reasons. Completing proper home winter preparation can prove beneficial in a variety of areas, including:
- Personal safety
- Personal Comfort
- Dollar savings
- Environmental impact.
As winter approaches there’s a list of things you can accomplish but, in fact, many of these items can be done anytime of the year to provide benefits. Checking the caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors, for example, will keep your home warmer in winter and lower your heating bill. It will also keep you cooler in summer and reduce your air conditioning expense. This simple upgrading of caulking and weather-stripping improves comfort, dollar savings and lowers your home’s environmental impact – three of the four areas listed above.
Whatever type of equipment is used in your home to keep it warm in winter needs to be inspected and maintained before the cold hits. Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and furnaces should be tuned up to ensure they’re running efficiently and safely. Heating vents should be cleaned and freed of obstructions. A carbon monoxide detector should be installed on each level of your home, along with smoke detectors, and they should all be checked for proper operation.
Ice dams form on a roof when heat from the attic melts roof snow and the water flows to the gutters. If the gutters are blocked then that water will be prevented from draining and refreeze on the roof’s eaves. As further water is prevented from draining it can leak through the roof and cause water damage inside your home.
Additional water damage can be caused by broken, uninsulated water pipes running through unheated areas such as crawl spaces. Any pipes in attics, garages or crawl spaces exposed to the cold should be protected with insulation and/or heating cables. Prior to winter, water should be drained from outdoor faucets and sprinkler lines and faucets should be covered with foam insulators. Protecting your home from potential water damage can save money in repairs. Remember, these things are typically not covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
Anything you do to your home to save energy such as sealing windows or tuning up your furnace will have a positive impact on the environment plus add to your personal comfort. Even something as simple as changing your dirty furnace filter will have a positive effect.