The winter months offer a perfect opportunity to cozy up in front of the fireplace and to be a little lazier than during the active summer months of the year. But to maintain a warm and comfortable atmosphere, it is important to protect your home from the wear and tear of winter weather. Here are four effective prep steps that will help you to do just that:
Make Your Ceiling Fans Move Clockwise
Your ceiling fans are helpful for more than just keeping you cool in the summer. By programming your fans to move clockwise, an updraft is created and warm air is forced down into the spaces you spend a lot of time in at home. Keep the fans on low to prevent them from creating a draft that overpowers the warm air that you are trying to create for your home.
Give Your Plumbing A Little Bit of TLC
One of the most important aspects to protect in your home during winter months is your plumbing. Because some of your pipes are exposed to the bitter outdoors during winter, there is a chance they will get frozen or break before the end of the season comes around. These costly problems can be avoided with just a little planning.
Scheduling an appointment with your plumber for an inspection is the first step in preparing your pipes for chilly weather. This will allow your service provider to spot any weak spots in your plumbing so they can be replaced or repaired before winter hits. You'll also want to:
- Insulate your hot water tank with an insulating blanket to keep the water inside from freezing or running into your pipes when it is too cold.
- Make sure crawl space vents and other draft areas near pipes are closed up tight.
- Install insulating foam or fiberglass enclosures on all pipes that are exposed to the exterior of your home.
Using spray foam insulation to close up cracks in your home's foundation and exterior walls can also help to protect your pipes from excessively cold weather.
Insulate the Doors and Windows
Insulating the doors and windows in your home is a great way to keep the cold where it belongs – outside. If there are cracks in your doors or windows themselves, it is best to replace them before insulating them if possible. Then you can:
- Apply caulking or spray foam insulation to the frames of your doors and windows to ensure no leaks or holes are present.
- Use door snakes on the bottom of your doors when they are not in used.
- Install insulating window film on each window in your home, including those in your basement and attic.
It is also a good idea to use honeycomb cellular shades in place of curtains to insulate your home and create a noise barrier from the outside.
Replace Your Furnace Filter
Dirty furnace filters require more energy to run, and even then the furnace won't perform even close to its potential. Because of this, it's important to replace your furnace filter before the winter season and then check it and clean it out once a month thereafter throughout the season.
Avoid fiberglass filters if possible, as they filter less than half of the allergens, mold, and viruses that may be found in the air within your home. Investing in a HEPA filter will ensure that more than 99 percent of airborne particles in your home are caught before being circulated back into the air.
Take the time to check all of the winterized aspects of your home periodically throughout the winter. This will help you spot leaks and damage as they occur so they can be addressed before becoming too serious.
Discover more about these tips and the professionals who can assist you.