Winter is finally here. You can tell by the leafless trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost each morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, there's still time. Follow these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm all winter.
1. Request Maintenance for Your Heating System
Your furnace has been unused all summer. To prepare it for another heating season, request a visit from a qualified technician to inspect, clean and service the equipment. The most cost-efficient way to keep your heating system in good shape over the years is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.
2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Hire a professional to inspect and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service removes ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also provides you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition.
3. Seal Air Leaks
As you prepare to run your furnace in cold weather, try to find and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The best way to find leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that could be leaky, including near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.
4. Use Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans keep you cool over the summer, but they can also disperse warm air down to the living space during the winter. For better results, set your fans on low and find the switch that lets them spin in reverse. This tactic is best used in stairwells and rooms with tall ceilings.
5. Install Insulating Drapes
A different way to winterize your home is to swap out thin, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Make sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun warms your home for free. Then, shut the curtains after dark for additional insulation against the frigid night air.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
As the temperature drops, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to prevent this. Electric heat tape beneath the insulation gives you an additional layer of protection in very frigid climates.
7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances elevates the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning over the winter. Exercise caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are functional. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, particularly near sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries every six months.
8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Do you still own an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by getting a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature throughout the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option with the capability to change the settings remotely using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.
9. Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, blocking melted snow from melting off the roof. Left unaddressed, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structural elements in the attic. Try these tips to prevent ice dams this winter:
- Clean the gutters so water can flow like it should.
- Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from below.
- Seal attic floor penetrations to stop heated air from rising through the ceiling.
- Insulate the attic floor to further decrease heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Seal and insulate ductwork inside the attic.
- Ensure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outside, not into the attic.
10. Keep Deicer Handy
Slips and falls are particularly common in freezing winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe for pedestrians by applying salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer across the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for specific application tips and recommended precautions.
Winterizing Your Home with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts
Many winterization tips relate primarily to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing equipment. If you need help winterizing your home, call Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer quality furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for winter weather. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.