Even in the nicest of climates, doing what you can to protect your home through the winter will help maintain its value and save you some headaches later on. Here are some basic things you can do to winterize your home and take care of your investment.
- Replace Filters– Regularly switch out filters in your central air and heating system. In the winter, this will help keep your home energy efficient when you run the heater.
- Inspect the Furnace – Have the HVAC system professionally inspected. The ducts will need to be cleaned, too.
- Flush the Water Heater– Flushing water through your water heater’s drain valve will clear out particles and sediment so the unit will run efficiently.
- Caulk and Tape– Keep drafts out by using weather stripping tape and caulk. Use the tape to seal up window and door leaks. You can also fill gaps with caulk.
- Add Window Insulation Film– For the ultimate in heat retention, put insulation film on your windows. Up to 70% of the heat will be kept from leaking out the windows.
- Insulation– Retain heat by applying fiberglass insulation around out-of-the-way places like attic flooring, basement doors, windows in rooms you’re not using and any window air conditioners you may have.
- Clean the fireplace– Have a chimney sweep remove accumulated soot and debris. Inspect the damper to make sure it opens and closes properly.
- Clear the Gutters– It’s essential that water can flow easily through the gutters, so clean them. If you live in an area where it can freeze or snow, this can prevent icicles and dams from forming.
- Insulate Plumbing Pipes– Avoid bursts by insulating exposed pipes. Drain AC pipes and turn the system off if there’s a water shut-off valve. Drain garden hoses. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, like on a vacation, leave the heat on set to at least 55 degrees.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat– Save on your energy bill by installing a programable thermostat to keep the temperature down when you’re not home.
To find out how to save on energy all year long, read Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.