How to Winterize Your House
Summer seems to come and go quickly in the Seattle, WA area…before you know it, the leaves are turning colors, summer clothes return to storage and so does your patio furniture.
It’s interesting to watch as people are harvesting their gardens and preserving the food they’ve grown for winter and squirrels are making the same preparations as they search foods to hide for later use. These are definitely indicators that it’s time to prepare for winter.
One of the smartest things we can do is winterize our houses and prepare them to keep us warm during those cold months. This is not only wise for our comfort, but also for safety and to lower energy bills.
Tips for Winterizing your House:
- Start at the top – clean moss and debris from your roof.
- You may need to hire this job out, but for safety’s sake…tree limbs that hang too close to or touch your roof should be removed.
- Clean your rain gutters and down spouts to aid in ease of water run off during rain, and help prevent ice dams during freezing snow.
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned, removing the risk of creosote build up chimney fires.
- Store fireplace wood away from the house in a dry and convenient area.
- We all know that heat rises (and escapes), so to raise the temperature in your house and lower heating costs make sure your attic is well insulated. 12 inches of insulation is recommended.
- Make sure any plumbing on outside walls should be insulated to prevent freezing and ruptured pipes.
- Check your home’s foundation for any cracks which need to be sealed up.
- Store your outside hoses and turn off the water supply.
- Drain and store window mounted air conditioning units to prevent cold drafts.
- Check for and eliminate drafts around your windows and outside doors using weatherstripping or caulking.
- Moving inside, have your furnace inspected, this should be done every couple of years, and change your filters on a regular basis.
- Check your cold air returns to make sure they aren’t blocked and air movement can flow freely.
- Many people have ceiling fans to cool them in the summer, but few realize you can reverse their direction to push warm air down.
Don’t let this list overwhelm you, just focus on one item at a time, and before long your house will be winterized.
Another thing you can do to prepare your house for a pleasant winter is have your windows cleaned. It’s amazing how clean, clear windows can make a difference on your outlook during winter days that seem to last too long.
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