08 Nov

Winterizing Your Home

Posted by InspectorNick.com

Winterizing Your Home. Winterizing your home will keep it in top condition. Every homeowner needs to know how to winterize their home

In order to prevent damage that could have otherwise been avoided. Just a few steps each year before the weather turns cold, and you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the long run.


Winterizing the Inside Of your Home

Winterizing the inside of your home not only saves you money - but it keeps you SAFE. Don't be one of those stories on the news where you're looking back wishing you would have been proactive and taken the steps to safety.


HVAC Maintenance

Before winter hits, spend some time maintaining your HVAC system to keep you warm ... and poisioness gasses out.

  • Service your furnace system. Check for efficiency.
  • Make sure your furnace system isn't emitting carbon monoxide.
  • Replace disposable furnace filters. We recommend buying the cheap cardboard filters and replacing each month.
  • If you have a permanent filer, clean.


Water Heater Maintenance

You'll want to make sure to check your water heater before winter weather hits. Check around the base for leaks. Check he temperature and that it's maintaining a proper setting (Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees).

If your water heater is older and has less insulation, take steps to save more money. For every 10 degrees Farenheit you lower the temperature, you'll save 6 percent on water heating energy.


Winterizing from Top to Bottom

  • Check the insulation in the attic. This is the most significant area in terms of heat loss. See to it that it has adequate ventilation, as inadequate ventilation can lead to premature deterioration of the insulation materials. Add insulation if it's running low.
  • Around daylight savings time, replace smoke alarm and carbon monoxide batteries (do this in spring, too.)
  • Remove or winterize any air conditioning units.
  • Check all windows and doors for air leaks. Instal storm windows where possible. Add putty, caulk, weather stripping or plastic window covers as needed.
  • Check insulation in the exterior walls, crawl spaces and along foundation walls, too.
  • Check all vents and make sure they're operating properly. Clean and vacuum baseboard heaters, heating ducts and vents.
  • Have your chimney swept thoroughly, especially with a wood stove or fireplace. Clean before the soot buildup reaches 1/4" thick inside the chimney flue.
  • Check the basement and cellars for seal cracks or leaks in walls or floor.


Winterizing the Outside Of Your Home

 Winterizing the outside of your home will keep your outdoor things looking nice and working well.


Exterior Home Maintenance

Take a few of these actions once/year and you'll keep your exterior holding up well in the wintertime.

  • Caulk joints and minor cracks on exterior walls and siding.
  • Look for deteriorating finishes. Minor problems can be patched to preserve the wood. Put bigger jobs, such as scraping and refinishing painted or stained areas, on the calendar for next spring or early summer.
  • Clean storm drains, gutters and other drain pipes.
  • Check the foundation for proper drainage. To do this, spray yard with a hose to see if water runs away from the house. A little shoveling to reshape the earth next to the house may make the water run away from the foundation.
  • Seal driveway and walkway cracks, if needed, before ground freezes regularly.
  • Inspect the roof for loose, damaged or missing pieces.
  • Check attic vent openings for nests or other blockages.


Winterizing the Landscaping & Outdoor Furniture

  • Store or cover outdoor furniture, toys and grill.
  • Purchase rock salt for melting snow and a shovel or snow blower if you don't already have one. Make sure you have the right kind of gas and oil on hand for your snow blower in the case of an unexpected snowstorm.
  • Drain and shut off sprinkler systems and other exterior water lines to avoid frozen and broken pipes. Leave all taps slightly open.
  • Insulate exterior spigots and other pipes that are subject to freezing but can't be drained or shut off.
  • Rake and compost leaves and garden debris, or put out for yard-waste pickup.
  • Make sure dirt or piles of wood don't come into contact with or touch siding, inviting termites and carpenter ants into the house.