Winterize Your House

Whether you like it or not, the cold weather is coming.  Those colder temperatures can cause some troubles with your home, especially if your home is vacant.  This is the case with many of you who have your house listed with us.  So, to help keep you prepared for what mother nature may bring this winter, we’ve made a list of some things you can do to winterize your home and avoid costly problems.

  1. Inspect doors and windows for drafts – You may want to add draft guards to doors.  Make sure you check weather stripping.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat – this can save money by changing the temperature while you’re away. If it’s programmed, you can’t forget.
  3. Clean the gutters. – if there’s snow, or an ice storm, extra weight on the gutters from leaves and debris can cause them to chip away at the frame of your home.
  4. Adjust the ceiling fans – they should rotate clockwise during the winter months. This way, the fan will push the rising warm air down.
  5. Replace Filters – this can significantly improve the life of your system as well as its efficiency.
  6. A chimney balloon – If you don’t use your chimney, it’s a huge source of heat loss in the winter. You can plug it up with a chimney balloon for only around $55.
  7. Protect your pipes – consider turning off your water supply. If the pipes burst while you’re away, this could cause significant damage. Drain your pipes of all water by opening the faucets and flush your toilet to clear the water from the tank and bowl.
  8. Keep Your Home (and plumbing) warm – If you don’t turn off the water supply, keep the furnace running. It needs to be at 55 degrees or higher. Shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers while you’re away to avoid any leaks.
  9. Perform regular maintenance – If you’re out of your house for an extended period, have your heating system inspected and serviced before winter.
  10. Make your home unattractive to pests – clean thoroughly, defrost and unplug refrigerators, clean the oven. Make sure your fireplace is closed.
  11. Look into tax credits – there are some options out there to help homeowners install renewable energy and energy efficient projects. Various local, state and federal incentives exist to encourage the use of efficient windows and doors, insulation, HVAC, roofing, water heaters and more.
  12. Improve attic insulation – Consider this if you’ve just purchased a new home or if you’re staying put for a while. New insulation may be a bit costly up front, but it’ll pay off in the end. If your 2×4’s in the attic show through, you need to add more insulation. We suggest hiring a professional.
  13. Flush the water heater – this can lower energy bills and extend the life of your water heater.

We hope some of these can help you this winter. Stay warm!

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