Now that Summer is winding down it’s time to start getting your house ready for the Fall/Winter season. Here are 6 ways to make sure your home is ready for the changing seasons ahead.
1. Seal Crawl Spaces
Encapsulating a crawl space can eliminate the environmental factors that cause mold, fungus and bacteria to grow and thrive. When your crawl space is properly conditioned and encapsulated, your house will be cleaner, dryer and more energy efficient. A properly conditioned and encapsulated crawl space will easily pass any inspection, not just maintaining but adding value to your home.
2. Insulate Ducts and Pipes
One of the most cost-effective and energy-conserving measures you can take is to insulate ducts or pipes running through the unheated areas of your home. By not insulating these conduits, you are essentially delivering heat that you’ve paid for to areas of your house you never use. One very important fire safety note: Never place duct or pipe insulation within 3 feet of the heating system, exhaust flues, or any other high-temperature areas.
3. Caulk Windows
Windows are another part of your home that must be tested for drafts. If your home has storm windows, make sure they’re installed before the weather turns colder. Check for drafts around the windows, and install weatherproofing strips to seal them tightly.
4. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
People tend to forget to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors due to only changing the batteries out once a year. A good practice for your home is to change the batteries (alkaline ones last the longest) in all devices at that start of every season. You can’t be too careful with this step, especially with carbon monoxide being “the silent killer.”
5. Inspect Your Roof
Always inspect the roof of your home, garages, greenhouses and tool sheds before the first heavy snow or rainfall that will ice over. Try to take note of loose shingles, structural damage or any weak spots where an accumulation could cause a collapse. Also, remember that if you had an addition built onto your house, the materials are often not the same as those that came with the original structure.
6. Insulate Plumbing
The cold weather can be incredibly hard on the plumbing in your home – especially when temperatures reach below freezing. To avoid your water freezing – or worse, your pipes breaking – you should have insulation protecting your hot and cold pipes throughout as much of the home as possible. The insulation will help stop your cold pipes from freezing and and bursting while protecting your hot water pipes from thermal loss, making your electrical or gas consumption more efficient. The easiest way to protect your plumbing against the weather is to install tubular-sleeve insulation. It comes in a variety of sizes and is incredibly easy to install. All you have to do is cut the sleeve to the length of the pipe you wish to protect and wrap it around the pipe! If you need more than one sleeve to cover a long pipe, make sure to duct tape the seam.
So tell us, what are some of your favorite tips on keeping your house warm for the winter?