Winter has arrived! Well, at least in Colorado it sure feels like it. ! With the hot cocoa and cozy nights comes colder weather which can do a number on your home if you aren’t careful. Winterizing your home is a critical step to take every year, especially if you want to properly maintain your home and potentially avoid costly repairs. But where should you start?
The good news is that winterizing your home doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve pulled together some of the most important steps to take! Here they are, in no particular order.
Windows do more than allow us to see outside. They also serve as a barrier between insects and extreme temperatures. The problem is that not all windows were created equal. Some of them simply aren’t up to the task of keeping cold air outside, where it belongs. Luckily, insulating windows can help keep your home warm and cozy even during the worst winter has to offer.
Some people ignore this step, reasoning that if they aren’t using those spaces during the winter, it might not hurt anything to let them cool down. The problem is that cold air doesn’t stay in those spaces. It seeps out through window and door frames, making the rest of your home cooler. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for your heating system to heat your home effectively.
Take the time to insulate these spaces. If you are completely closing off an area, make sure any cracks around the doors are filled with weather stripping. Insulating windows and doors facing the outdoors will also help keep cold air out and place less stress on your central air.
Drafts allow cold air into your home. In much the same way as windows, drafty areas allow warm hair to leak out and cold air to leak in. Take some time to walk through your home as well as around your home and look for any holes or cracks in the walls. These are most common by doors and windows but can be present anywhere.
In a similar vein as the tip above, drafts around doors and windows can be big problems for temperature regulation. You can check weather stripping around doors and their frames and windows and their frames by sliding a dollar bill between the door or window and its frame. Can you easily remove it? If so, the seal has run its course and you should consider replacing it. You can DIY this step if you have the time and patience.
Closing off unused rooms can be a great way to lower your heating bill and improve energy efficiency in some cases. If you use space heaters, for example, sealing off rooms can make heating your home significantly more affordable. The idea is that if you seal off rooms you don’t use and allow them to be cold, you save money which might otherwise be spent on heating it. Sealing the doors and windows in the room as well as those which lead to the room is important to keep the cold air contained.
If you use central heating, you might want to reconsider. Your system warms your entire home to the number on the thermostat, no matter how hard it has to work to do so. Cutting rooms off from the ambient heating provided by other rooms can actually increase your bill dramatically because the heating system will struggle to keep it warm.
The sun can help naturally heat your home during the winter. Open your curtains or shades on south-facing windows during the day. Remember to close them at night, however, as they can help keep cold air from sneaking through.
Consider installing insulated cellular shades. This can help reduce heat loss by up to 40%, with higher percentages possible if the shades are installed tightly.
Don’t turn your heat up to its maximum every day. Set it as low as possible while still comfortable. When you are leaving the house, turn it down lower to save on heating costs. A programmable thermostat can make managing your temperature simple. Remember to take pets into consideration when setting the thermostat!
Make sure you schedule regular maintenance visits to ensure your heating system is working as it should. Change heat pump and furnace filters once a month.
When there is no fire burning, make sure to keep your fireplace’s damper closed. This helps prevent cold air from traveling in through the chimney. For more information about how to keep your home looking (and feeling) its best, reach out to our experts. If you want to start fresh with a new home, give our team a call!