6 Ways To Ensure Your Home Is Winter Ready
The holidays are upon us and they’re bringing with them, the cold and snowy days of winter. While the thought of sleigh rides, ice skating and building snowmen, may fill your hearts with joy, the thought of having to winter-proof your home, well just isn’t as thrilling. There’s so much to do, where do you even begin? Here at Vic Green Realty, we want you to have more time for those sleds and skates, so we’ve compiled a list of 6 things that should be on your winter-proofing checklist, that will help you get your home winter ready in no time!
1. Clear the Gutters
While you were out biking, swimming and taking vacations this summer, the leaves and grime you left at home, were also busy, clogging your gutters. If you leave them full of debris, they can form ice dams that will prevent your drainage systems from working properly. This can lead to water seeping into your home, which can lead to all sorts of trouble and extra energy costs. Save yourself all of that hassle, by simply cleaning your gutters and drains. When you do, run water through the gutters to check for misalignments that could create water damage.
2. Windows, Windows, Windows
Windows are more than just glass that separates you from the falling leaves of the outdoors, they are also one of your primary defenses, against the cold. Installing windows with low e-coating, such as storm windows, will reduce your heat loss by 10%-20%. Also, using blinds and curtains, may help reduce heat loss through windows. Keep in mind, however, that windows with direct sunlight may benefit from having the blinds up during the daylight hours, as sunlight can help heat the space.
3. Keeping the Heat in and the Cold out
It is vital, for your energy savings, to ensure there are no air leaks in your home. Warm air WILL escape out of ANY cracks and will make your heating system work much harder and in turn, will cost you more to heat your home. With a little caulk, seal cracks and openings between stationary house components like a door frame and weather-stripping and to seal components that move like an operable window. This effort will pay you big dividends in your energy bill savings!
4. Don’t be a Goose, take care of your Ducts
Ducts are often times out of sight, out of mind, after the winter months are gone, as they are tucked away in the attic or basement, but a home with central heating can lose about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system. Taking time to make sure that they are properly sealed and insulated, can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by $120 or more! That’s totally worth the hassle of caring for them, in our book!
5. Furnaces need TLC too
Your furnace may be a distant memory since you last powered it on, but before the cold weather descends and you must reluctantly switch it on, give it some TLC. Make a habit of cleaning your furnace annually, preferably in the Fall Season. Sediment build-up can cause your system to work less efficiently or potentially become a fire-hazard. Cleaning your system and getting it inspected will reduce the risks. During the winter, make sure to change your filter regularly; a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency.
6. Put it in Reverse
In the heat of summer, utilizing your ceiling fan is a wonderful way to keep cool, but don’t forget that it can also help circulate warm air in the winter. When you reverse the direction of your fan, the fan will push warm air downward and recirculate it through the room. To ensure your fan is spinning in the correct direction, set it so the blades are spinning clockwise when you look up.