7 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Man cleaning his guttersTemperatures around the country have started cooling down and it won’t be long before many areas experience the precipitation that comes along with winter. There is plenty you can do to ensure the next few months at home are as comfortable as possible. Now is the time for weekend warriors to prepare the home for winter if it hasn’t been done already. Not only will these tips keep your family warm and cozy, they may also end up saving you money on the utility bill during the course of the winter.

  1. Change ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. Doing so can warm up the spaces of a home because hot air rises and when the blades are moving clockwise, they force warm air down.
  2. Replace old and dirty furnace filters because they put a burden on the entire system. The furnace has to work much harder to warm up the house and you’ll likely see an increase in your bill. New filters cost about $10 each and will allow your furnace to work at an optimal level of efficiency.
  3. Look for gaps around windows and door frames. If you notice spaces that are bigger than the diameter of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. Consider the use of silicone caulk for exterior use because it will not shrink and can withstand the various elements of winter.
  4. Clear your gutters of leaves, branches, and dirt buildup. Clogged gutters may cause water backup against the house, leading to damage of the roof and siding. While examining the gutters, check for missing boards or damage so you can repair them as soon as possible.
  5. While some areas of the country are immune from frigid temperatures, heavy rainfall and snow accumulation can still cause major issues during winter months. Add extensions to the downspouts so that water can run more than three feet away from the foundation.
  6. Ducts are out of sight so many people forget how much of an impact they have on the heating of a home. Properly seal and insulate ducts that may be hidden away in the attic or basement. Homeowners may reduce the annual cost of their energy bill by more than $100 when ducts are tightly sealed and insulated.
  7. Use insulation to wrap the water pipes that are located in the basement or crawl spaces. Plastic and copper pipes can easily freeze with poor insulation. Frozen pipes may crack or burst, and even a small slice and release up to 250 gallons a day.

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