Have You Taken Steps for Home Winterization?
In a cold climate, it is important to make adjustments to the home when winter hits. Home winterization does not have to be complicated and a little effort goes a long way. By following these tips for home winterization, you can prevent problems and increase efficiency.
1. Keep Pipes From Freezing
Frozen pipes are a risk in any climate with below freezing temperatures during the winter. When pipes freeze, the water inside them expands and can cause the pipe to burst. Apply foam pipe insulation to the pipes that you can access. It is inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store.
On particularly frigid nights, open up your lower cabinets under sinks to let warmer air reach the pipes. Leave all your faucets on a slow drip to prevent the pipes from freezing.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you have a manual thermostat that you have to dial up or down every time you want to change the temperature, it is time to look into installing a programmable thermostat. A thermostat that you can schedule saves energy because you can easily set the temperature lower when you’re away for the day and while you are sleeping. If you have a programmable thermostat already, be sure to set the schedule so that the furnace isn’t working hard when nobody is home.
3. Seal Drafts
An important tip for home winterization is to identify where your home isn’t completely sealed (usually around doors and windows) and seal these gaps. One trick for finding drafty spots is to light a candle inside on a windy day and hold it around doors and windows. If it goes out or flickers, you have air getting inside. Seal cracks around the window panes with caulk and apply weatherstripping to gaps in the openings of doors and windows.
4. Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans
People usually think of ceiling fans cooling down a room, but you can also use them to keep the room warmer if you switch the direction to clockwise. A clockwise direction pushes the hot air that rises back down into the room. This home winterization tip is free and takes less than a minute!
5. Check Insulation in the Attic
If you live in an older home, it’s possible that the insulation has gotten wet or deteriorated over time. Hot air rises, so if you are lacking insulation in the attic the heat will escape right through the roof. Check out the insulation in the attic or hire an inspector to do it for you. You’ll find out if you need to amp up the amount of insulation that you have and then install it yourself or hire a professional. Only do it yourself if you are comfortable with the task and are wearing protective gear.