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How to Winterize Your Home

The changing of the seasons means more than leaves falling from trees. It’s also a time when you as a homeowner must protect your investment. If you don’t winterize, your utility bills will spike and your living conditions will deteriorate. Here’s a guide on how to winterize your home.

Winterize your Home 1

Image via Flickr by Muffet

Mind the Gaps

The cracks surrounding your windows are some of the places where cold air is most likely to seep into the house. Before the weather turns cold, you should check to see if there are leaks or gaps in the area surrounding all your windows. If so, you have two choices. You can either seal them or, if the issue is too severe, you can replace them with new windows. While the financial investment is significant for new ones, it could save you money if repairs are a stop-gap measure rather than a long-term solution.

Clean the Gutters

Many people believe that winterizing a home is primarily an indoor activity. This is not entirely true. Several issues can occur outside that will impact your home. The gutters might seem innocuous, but if you fail to keep them clean, you’ll suffer during cold weather. Giant icicles will form, and debris will clutter your drainage area if you fail to clean the gutters. That leaves you susceptible to water damage when the ice melts on your home’s exterior. Guaranteeing gutter flow nips this potential problem in the bud.

Dodge a Draft

During the winter, your doors represent the easiest way for cold air to get into your home. Every time you open a door, you lose heat. The situation is even trickier than that, though. The gaps under your doors that allow them to open also provide opportunities for cold winds to blow inside. There’s a clever invention that prevents this. It’s called a draft dodger or draft stopper. This cloth stopper rests under the door, blocking air of any temperature from moving in or out of the home. A draft dodger will save you money on your utility bill each month.

Reverse Your Airflow

When you bought your ceiling fan, you likely intended it to keep you cool during the summer. You may not even realize that it has a secondary setting. Look carefully at the switch, and you’ll notice that you can reverse the direction of the blades. When you set the device to operate clockwise, it produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. The warmth from above will reduce the workload of your heater.

Insulate Your Pipes

Your pipes control most of the heating in your home. When they run at less than optimal efficiency, you’ll need to use more hot water to achieve the right temperature. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to the problem. By insulating your pipes, you increase their conductivity and thereby sustain maximum temperature more efficiently. Insulating your pipes only takes a few minutes, but the reward in terms of savings and comfort is tremendous.

Winterizing your home isn’t difficult. All it takes is a bit of forward-thinking and the initiative to try. Follow the steps above to protect yourself from cold weather.

What do you think? Did we miss any tips? Do you have any trade secrets on how to winterize your home like a pro? Let us know in the comment section.

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