Simple Ways to Winterize a House to Reduce Heating Cost and Repairs
The cold weather of winter months often brings about reminders of the need for winterization. Homes become cold, with drafts coming in through windows and doors and from under the house. Pipes become frozen and heating bills more than double. Many small things can be done to prepare a home for winter.
Preparing the Inside of a Home for Winter
Check all windows for proper sealing and drafts. Windows with severe drafts or leaks may needed additional calking to keep out drafts. Towels may also be placed in window sills to prevent drafts but require daily checking to prevent mold from moisture on the towels.
Check weather stripping on all sides, top and bottom of doors. If weather stripping is missing, damaged or cracked, it should be replaced to prevent cold air from coming in. Weather stripping is available at any home improvement store. Additionally, a blanket may be hung over the door or at the base where drafts come in.
Heater vents should be dusted and vacuumed. Wall heaters should also be dusted and cleared of any debris. Ensuring heater vents are clean and flow freely will help to ensure even heat distribution.
Homes with fireplaces should have their fireplace and chimney cleaned. Debris often collects in the chimney throughout the year. A dirty chimney greatly increases the risk of chimney fire and could cause a house fire as well.
Winterization Tips for Outside
Check roof for any loose or missing shingles. Missing or loose shingles greatly increase the risk of a roof leak. Missing shingles should be replaced and loose shingles can be nailed in place if necessary, or can be replaced. Severe wind can blow loose shingles off, also increasing the risk of a roof leak.
Gutters should be cleaned to remove any dirt and debris leftover that has settled. Missing, broken or loose gutters should be replaced. Clogged gutters increase the risk of water leaking through the walls near the ceiling.
Pipes should be covered with insulated foam or wrapped with a towel to prevent broken pipes. Outdoor garden hoses should be removed to prevent water from freezing in the hose, which can result in broken pipes as well.
Check insulation under the house. Missing or damaged insulation can cause additional drafts and heat loss through the floor. If replacing the insulation is not an option, placing additional rugs on the floor inside the home can help prevent heat loss through the floor.
Homeowner Benefits to Preparing a Home for Winter
Winterizing a home has many benefits to homeowners. The initial investment cost, while minimal, will greatly reduce the risk of major expenses later on. Heat bills rise in the winter months as it takes more to heat a home when it is cold outside. Winterizing a home will help to minimize the additional heating bill. In severe cold weather, pipes can freeze and break causing serious problems and costly repairs. Homeowners can lower their risk of extra costly repairs by winterizing their home.