5 Ways to Prepare Your Property for the Winter Months
5 Ways to Prepare Your Property for the Winter Months
What a wonderful time of year! Pipes are freezing, snow is piling up and ice dams are waiting patiently to grow. It’s the perfect time to revisit the parts of your property that are the most vulnerable as the temperature drastically decreases. In order to find peace this winter, use these preventative measures in order to equip your property for the dynamic winter months.
Test Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
One of the first steps of preparing your property for the winter is testing both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Both components are physically minuscule, but play major factors when determining the indoor air quality of your home. Unfortunately, in the wintertime, house fires can occur more frequently than one would think. It’s important to test all of your smoke detectors to make sure their batteries are up to date and working efficiently.
It’s relatively common for homeowners to keep their home closed off at times, which makes total sense. The goal is to store heat and deny cooler gusts that can infiltrate the interior. However, the amount of trapped carbon monoxide can become a more harmful threat. Be mindful; if your home is not equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, connect with an HVAC professional to find one that is the best fit for your home. An annual HVAC inspection could also be extremely helpful, especially when analyzing the condition of your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector and even your furnace.
Check Your Heating & Cooling Systems
The next step when preparing your property for the winter is to check your heating and cooling systems. In this case, your heating system will be more of a priority as the temperature drops drastically. It’s important to note that most heating and air systems usually last anywhere from 12 to 15 years. If you find yourself inspecting your heating system after that time frame and notice any aging flaws, it might be time to invest in a new one. If you buy a new heating system, it’s best to have some sort of coverage. If a pipe happens to burst out of the blue, it’s wise to have some sort of protection plan. Losing heating capabilities in the middle of the winter can be exceptionally challenging for homeowners.
The lifespan of your heating system has everything to do with maintenance. Try to periodically revisit your heating system to ensure everything is working properly. This will help extend the lifespan of your interior airflow systems. It’s also recommended having your system inspected by a reputable HVAC contractor. These professionals can clearly identify any flaws that could affect the comfort of your indoor environment during winter.
Caulk Any Doors & Windows
Another tip when preparing your home for the winter is to revisit the insulation by your doors and windows. Most homes have wood trimming which must be protected from snow, sleet, rain and other elements it encounters. The wood trim on your doors and by your windows is less protected than the wood used for your decking. The material around your doors and windows can break down much quicker than that of your deck. Replacing this trim can be costly and even frustrating at times. Know you’re not alone as even professionals sometimes struggle with making the repair look great.
The best way to avoid these issues is by keeping it freshly caulked and painted. Before rotting and deterioration happens, take the time to go around your home and make sure that none of the caulk or paint is cracking away. If you notice any flaws in your insulation, scrape away the bad paint or caulk and apply a new coat. A fair share of homeowners might be able to complete these tasks by themselves, but a professional can always ensure high quality and longevity. If you’re financially limited and have a hard time finding professional home revisions of this nature, using a home equity loan could be a smart financing option. This type of loan is especially helpful for these types of upgrades as you can deduct the interest when used for home improvement projects and can use the money however you want. Funding certain projects can be hard, but using your home’s equity can be a helpful resource as a homeowner, especially if you have been living in your home for a long time and have built up your equity.
Winterize Your Pipes
An essential part of preparing your home for the long winter months is by winterizing your pipes. Try to insulate pipes the best you can. One way to do this is by utilizing foam insulation sleeves that can slide over pipes without disconnecting the pipes. Place them on all of the water supply lines that are accessible. This includes; up in the attic, inside, down in the crawl space, or even in the garage. When you insulate pipes, especially uninsulated areas and along exterior walls, you help prevent the surrounding cold temperatures from freezing the water within. As a result of frozen pipes, damage can occur from leaks and even burst pipes.
Be mindful of the temperature; you must monitor your interior temperature periodically to make sure extreme conditions are avoided. Simple tasks like keeping your garage closed can make a major difference by protecting your interior plumbing lines. Check for leaks around doors, windows, exterior wall sockets and switches, electrical wiring and plumbing. Even the tiniest hole can allow enough cold air in to freeze pipes. Also check for leaks around doors, windows, exterior wall sockets and switches, electrical wiring and plumbing. As mentioned previously, sealing leaks with caulking or weatherstripping can be extremely effective.
Implement An Energy Audit
New homeowners might not know everything about energy audits, but they are very beneficial when re-imagining the way you can save energy this winter. It’s important to fully understand the specific conditions that are affecting the performance and comfort of your home. These audits are extremely useful; they can increase energy efficiency, reduce energy usage, improve indoor air quality, reduce interior drafts, and produce consistent interior temperatures. Knowing the amount of energy you are using is necessary to maximize the overall impact of energy-centered home improvements.
If you know very little about energy audits, hiring an energy audit team would be extremely resourceful. These professionals can solve specific home improvements to provide maximum comfort and energy saving tactics during the winter months. It’s crucial to understand where you can save energy and how this can directly impact the interior environment of your home. Ultimately, an energy audit can do a lot of positive things for your household.
Understanding what aspects of your home are the most important during the winter is what will generate the most confidence in your property. Winter brings a variety of challenges, especially ones that can take an overwhelming toll. Be proactive and try to periodically analyze which parts of your home are most impacted by inclement weather.