Hunker Down, It’s Time to Winterize Your Home
There’s a lot of really spectacular things about living in Nebraska but winter in the Midwest leaves little to be desired. We can see the effects of the nasty weather on everything from our roads to homes. As a homeowner or diligent home renter, you’ll want to be made aware of some of the damages that winter may cause – from strain on your heating systems to burst pipes, there’s a lot that can happen in the long span of winter. In order to help alleviate some of the challenges that can occur during the freezing cold months, it’s important to start prepping your home for winter now.
According to The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. By following these tips on winterizing your home, you can help avoid costly repairs this winter season.
- Replace Furnace Air Filters
Though they may be a minor detail, furnace filters can have a major impact on the overall efficiency of your furnace. It’s important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes, while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space—cutting your heating costs as much as 10 percent!
- Winterize Your A/C
Drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and if your A/C has a water shutoff valve, turn that off too. And don’t forget to remove any window A/C units and store them so you don’t invite cold drafts all winter.
Shut Down Exterior Water Sources
Make sure any hoses are drained and stowed away and turn off exterior water spigots. It’s also a good idea to seal any water leaks around the place.
- Clean Your Gutters
Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later.
Insulate Your Windows
It may not be the most fashionable tip, but window insulation film can keep up to 70% of your heat from leaking out of windows. Plus, don’t forget about the weather-stripping tape to seal around cracks and openings. Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk.
- Inspect Your Furnace & Chimney
Make sure your furnace and chimney are in working order before the cold weather hits. Both should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional each year to ensure safe and efficient use.
- Insulate your Pipes
Avoid potential burst pipes which can cause flooding and a messy cleanup by insulating your water pipes with materials such as heating tape and fiberglass. This is especially crucial for pipes that sit along exterior walls and older homes. Although not completely efficient, during the extra cold times, it will also help to run a slow drip through the tap. Read more about my tips for avoiding frozen pipes.
- Service Your Cold-Weather Equipment
Make sure your tools are ready when you will inevitably need them. Service or tune-up snow blowers. Replace worn rakes and snow shovels. Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt or sand. For equipment that you use in the other seasons, like a lawn mower, make sure to drain the gas to avoid rust. Clean, dry, and store summer gardening equipment.
Bonus: Don’t forget to add that ice scrapper back into your vehicle!
- Inspect the Roof & Attic
Adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams. Check flashing to ensure water can’t enter your home. Consider replacing worn roof shingles or tiles.
Hopefully with all of these tips you can avoid potential headaches this upcoming season and enjoy your home to its fullest while staying cozy warm!
Looking for a place to call home this winter or thinking about relocation to escape our Midwest wintry tundra? Call me to discuss your real estate desires!
Megan Owens, Realtor
“Delivering extraordinary care for extraordinary clients.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate
Phone | 402-689-4984 Email | MeganOwensRE@gmail.com
©Copyright. October 2018. Megan Owens.
All Rights Reserved