10 Tips to Winterize Your Home From Home Inspectors
When the temperatures drop and snow is in the forecast, we know winter has arrived. Winterizing the house is our duty as homeowners, to not only protect our property but our family’s safety and wellbeing to boot.
We know it can be difficult to find time to manage our busy schedules and as a result, winterizing gets put to the backburner. We urge you to follow this simple checklist to prepare your home for the harsh winter months so that you can avoid any damage to the home, save money on energy bills, and have peace of mind knowing your biggest investment is protected.
When to Start Winterizing
Ideally, winterizing should start in the late days of fall to get a head start on the process. However, if the weeks seem to fly by and a big snowstorm is in the forecast for the upcoming week, don’t panic. Winterizing your home just before the temperatures plummet and the snow starts to fall will suffice.
If any time spent away from the home is in the plans for the winter ahead, it’s especially important to cross these items off of your winterizing checklist. For snowbirds, winterizing is of the utmost importance so that you don’t return to a disaster once the winter has passed.
Winterizing Safety Checklist: Top 10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
When snow, sleet, ice and cold rainy days are on the horizon, these safety tips can protect your energy bills from skyrocketing and prevent hazards at home caused by extreme weather conditions.
Winterizing doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive, and it can keep your family more comfortable during the winter. Follow these 10 tips for winterizing your home then kick up your feet with a hot cup of tea as you watch the snow fall, knowing your home is safe.
Check HVAC Systems
Your heating system will be kicked into high gear this winter, so part of winterizing your home is getting your HVAC system checked out before using it regularly again. Regular maintenance of your HVAC is needed to stay on top of any potential issues or hazards that could arise because of them. It’s also a good idea to change your air filters on a frequent basis to improve indoor air quality.
Protect Pipes and Gutters
Your pipes take a beating in the winter months when water freezes. If the temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could potentially burst. Winterize your pipes by insulating them, inspect for any cracks ahead of time and check for any blockage.
Your gutters need the same treatment; they should be checked for any debris build-up from the fall months then cleaned out if necessary. Frozen or backed up gutters can’t do their job of sending water away from the home.
Sealing and insulating windows is a major part of winterizing because of the cold drafts that have the potential to make their way indoors. Insulation keeps the warm air that your heating system is working hard to create inside, instead of escaping outside. Insulating your windows not only saves money on energy bills, but it also keeps your home a comfortable temperature.
Inspect Roof Shingles
Your roof is the barrier between snow and the interior of your home. If your roof is damaged in any way, it can become a safety hazard or expensive repair job when it snows. If shingles are missing or damaged, the snow can melt and cause a leak inside the home. Getting up on the roof can be dangerous, so hire a professional if you have any concerns about losing your footing or safely making your way up or down the ladder.
Test Fire Alarms
It’s imperative that your fire alarms are in good condition ahead of the winter. Fireplaces and furnaces are being turned on, heating systems are being cranked up and other hazards can present themselves when heating the home. If your fire alarm needs replacement or repairs, now is the time to do so.
Replace or install weatherstripping on your doors as part of your winterizing responsibilities. Weatherstripping will cover any small cracks that develop over the years or keep the cold air out of any older door jambs, window sashes, door seals, or door sweeps. The goal of weatherstripping is to keep the warm air inside and the cool air out.
Investing in a programmable thermostat can save money in the winter. By creating a schedule for when the heat is turned on and lowered, your heating system isn’t working overtime to constantly heat the home and costing a fortune to do so. Set your thermostat to heat when your family is home, and lower at night and during the day while everyone’s at school or work to only heat the home when needed.
Insulate the Attic
Insulating the attic is an often overlooked winterizing tip, but it can make a big difference in keeping your home warm and comfortable in the winter. The heat from your heating system rises, which is why you need an insulated attic to keep the rooms below the attic warm. Uninsulated attics can also cause roof damage.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Opposite of their job in the summertime to keep the room cooler by blowing the air down, reverse ceiling fans counterclockwise to keep the warm air inside the room by blowing the air up. This simple and quick fix will push warm air rising to the ceiling downward. Look for a switch that reverses the direction of the fan.
Storm windows are more durable and energy-efficient. Consider replacing your old windows with storm windows to protect against the cold weather and to keep the house more insulated. If your old windows are letting any draft in, chances are they’re causing the room to feel cold and uncomfortable. By updating the windows, your rooms will stay at the temperature your thermostat is set at.
HouseMaster Serving Harrisburg and Lebanon: Winterizing Tips From Home Inspectors
Keeping up with the maintenance of your home each year is the best way to guarantee your home stays in top shape. Preventative maintenance saves you from costly repairs and preserves the selling price of your home. As home inspectors, we see the damage that can be done when homeowners neglect to keep up with their yearly maintenance, including winterizing.
When it comes time to sell your home, home buyers will appreciate the maintenance and offer a price that reflects all those years of hard work and upkeep.
Harrisburg home inspectors Dan Ayers and Scott Ayers, like all Housemaster home inspectors, have extensive training and certifications and are tested annually to meet the industry standards of continuing education, inspection, reporting, and customer service. As part of the oldest and most trusted nationwide home inspection business, Dan and Scott have been able to put their decade long experience in fire and water property restoration and their passion for customer service to good use in the professional home inspection process. Request an inspection today!