‘Tis the season for cold weather maintenance.
Winter is right around the corner! For some, this is simply a cooler time of year. For others, a blanket of snow and freezing temperatures are in the forecast. Whatever your local climate during the colder months, taking time to prepare your home now will be beneficial throughout the season.
If you want to reduce heating costs and protect your home, this list of winterization tips will keep you warm and safe all winter long.
Easy Ways to Save Energy.
Install a programmable thermostat. Did you know the Department of Energy recommends keeping the heater at 68°F during the day in the winter? To keep energy costs down, a programmable thermostat is ideal. This gadget lets you customize your heating system to reduce the temperature where possible and warm things up when it’s time to get comfortable.
Keep drafts out of your home. Weather stripping, door sweeps, storm doors, and storm windows are a few simple additions to reduce heat loss during the winter months. These add-ons can be inexpensive and easy, especially when you consider the savings you’ll see on your monthly heating bill.
Clean or replace your furnace filter. Before you turn your furnace on, take time to check the filter. A dirty filter clogged with lint, pollen, dust, and other gunk can spread allergens throughout the house, obstruct airflow, and lead to expensive repairs. Stocking up on your filter of choice early will further simplify this easy task!
Reverse ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans allow you to change the direction and speed of the rotation. By simply reversing your fans and slowing them down, warm air will be pushed gently down to floor level, creating a more comfortable environment without upping your heating bill.
Get an energy audit. Your local power company may offer energy assessments. This service is often free, and will help you identify changes to make your home more energy efficient and save on your energy bill.
Safety Tips for Winter.
Protect your pipes. For much of the United States, the coldest months bring the risk of frozen pipes that can burst and cause water damage. You can winterize indoor pipes with insulation, drain exterior pipes, and turn off and insulate exterior faucets. Be sure to take time to check for leaks.
Inspect the attic. Attic importance is twofold. First, it is where roof problems show themselves, with water damage and mold as two common indicators. Second, proper attic insulation is key for keeping heating costs down and the cold out. If your inspection reveals drips or cold spots, it’s probably time for roof repairs or insulation improvements.
Clean your fireplace and chimney. With over 20,000 fires caused by chimneys each year, servicing your fireplace is critical to keeping your house safe. Start by hiring a professional chimney sweep to thoroughly clean soot and other debris before winter use. Continue to keep your fires safe by cleaning out any ash that accumulates in the firebox.
Trim branches. Snow and ice buildup can cause branches to snap, leading to property damage or downed power lines. Trimming foliage near your house and calling in professionals for larger branches will keep your home safe.
Prepare for winter weather conditions. Taking the time to put fall tools away, prep your winter maintenance gear, and store or protect patio furniture from the elements will leave you ready for the season.
A good move as we enter the new year is to contact one of our dedicated loan officers! They can direct you to local professionals, review financing options, and help you secure a renovation loan to fund projects big and small. Your loan officer will take the time to discuss your mortgage and how we can meet your home financing needs now, and for years to come.