Winter is here. Most of us will want to stay inside so don’t forget to do these home improvements first to ensure your home is warm, cozy, and protected from the elements! Winterizing your home can help you save energy and that can save you money on your heating bill—and potential headaches: There’s nothing worse than trying to thaw a frozen pipe with a hair drier before work so follow our five steps for a stress-free winter season!
Step 1: Check your heating system
During the winter season, your heating system is working hard—and you want to keep it working. Make sure to check your heating system this winter. If you have forced hot air, change your filter and check to see that your thermostat is working properly. If you are not hearing or feeling heat after 30 minutes, call your local HVAC company to have a tune up. If you have hot water radiators, you should also check on them. Turn your thermostat up; after 15 minutes, see if the radiators have heated up. If not call your local repair service. You’ll also want to fill up your oil tank at the start of the winter or before a storm. Lastly, make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly so you can protect your family through the heating season.
Step 2: Flush out the water heater and insulate pipes
Flushing out the water heater twice a year will prevent sediment build up and prolong the life of your heater. When cold weather hits, be sure to check your pipes to make sure they’re properly insulated to help keep water from freezing when temperatures drop. It is as easy as putting on a pipe sleeve available at most local retailers.
Step 3: Insulate your attic
Insulating and sealing up your attic is another great thing you can do for added peace of mind—and less expense. A lot of heat can be lost from the attic and having a poorly insulated attic that isn’t sealed can cause energy waste. When you insulate your attic, air does not rise and escape from the house. It also helps stop cold outside air from coming in. While you can leave your attic unfinished and insulated, it is not recommended. In the winter and spring months critters like racoons and mice like to nest in attic insulation. If you have a break in your soffit or fascia, these animals can crawl inside and wreak havoc in your attic. Sealing your attic with plywood and checking your soffits, fascia, and gutters in autumn is a way to prevent animal nesting and invasion.
Step 4: Get draft guards and weather-stripping
Draft guards and weather stripping improve insulation and lock heat in your home. If you notice cold air coming in from your windows or underneath doors, try installing draft stoppers. There are many different types of draft guards for different situations. Around your windows, siding, garage, and pet doors, be sure to use rubber weather-stripping. For extra insulation, install thermal blackout curtains. Stop jack frost from blowing through your chimney with flue-blockers or chimney balloons. This option seals your chimney and blocks drafts and pests.
Step 5: Bring in the outdoors
Now that you have the inside of your house prepped to keep the heat pumping inside your home, it is time to bring in the outdoors. Move your outdoor furniture into a garage, shed, or if you don’t have space, a convenient storage unit. If the furniture is locked in place or you just can’t move it, try outdoor furniture covers. If you fail to protect your outdoor furniture before winter weather and storms arrive, you may be spending time (and money) this spring cleaning, removing rust, and repainting or sealing your outdoor furniture (or buying a new set).
We hope this checklist has inspired you to act fast and winterize your home before the next snow storm arrives! If you find yourself needing a convenient storage unit for outdoor furniture—or just about anything else—contact the storage experts at Secure Self Storage whose convenient self-storage locations span the Northeast and Canada.