Each day we’re getting a bit more daylight, but these cold temps won’t be leaving us quite yet! Here are some tips to make sure your home stays safe and cozy while it’s below freezing outside.
1.Check windows, doors, and vents for air leaks
When a house feels drafty or too cold in the winter, it’s almost always because the windows, doors, or air vents aren’t well-sealed.
2. Add storm doors
A storm door provides a buffer from the cold outside. These can be expensive, but they are very effective at eliminating drafts and air seepage from your home’s main entry.
3. Add storm windows & insulation shrink film
Did you know that with the addition of storm windows and sealing up gaps old windows can be just as energy efficient as new windows? A cost-effective option is to install insulation shrink film, which can be purchased at your local hardware store.
4. Caulk and weather-strip
Once you have an idea of where the drafts are around your windows and doors, one way to postpone replacing the window or door is by reinforcing the caulking or adding weather-stripping.
5. Clean (and consider sealing) your chimney
If you have a chimney connected to a fireplace, then cleaning it out can improve the air flow throughout your entire home; on the other hand, you may want to seal it to prevent drafts.
6. Flush your water heater
Water heaters can accumulate sediment over time, and the sediment can interfere with the heater’s operation.
7. Change your furnace filters
When was the last time you replaced your furnace filter? Most furnace filters should be replaced at least twice a year, and some of them as often as six times a year. A clogged filter can really hinder your furnaces performance.
8. Reverse your ceiling fans
You may have learned in science class that hot air rises. Take advantage of that fact in the wintertime by reversing your ceiling fans, if you have them, so that they spin the opposite direction to blow the warm air back down.
9. Change your thermostat (and keep it there)
Keep your house at more or less the same temperature throughout the winter. Big fluctuations up and down increase the chance that you might experience a problem like a pipe freezing.
10. Insulate your pipes and/or your water heater
One way to increase your home’s efficiency and keep pipes from freezing is to insulate them. This can be a smart thing to do for pipes that travel along outside walls if your house isn’t well-insulated and the winters are very cold in your area.
11. Take care of the air
Having your furnace running all day can dry out the air in your house. Place humidifiers around the home to make things more comfortable for you, your pets, and your house plants. Also check the batteries on your carbon monoxide detectors, as there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter.
12. Keep up on snow.
Do the best you can to keep driveways & walkways clear of snow to avoid any slippery ice build up. Rake your roof and keep gutters free to prevent ice dams and water damage.