Winterizing the home is a great way to save on your monthly bills and prevent damage. Taking just a few simple steps this fall will help you manage the cold weather and its lasting effects on the home.
Here are 5 ways you can winterize your home so you can be cozy all winter long.
1. Insulate the windows and doors
Windows can lose up to 20 times as much heat as the walls surrounding them. Wasting heat like this increases your heating bill as your HVAC system makes up for the loss. Check for drafts in your window frames by holding a lit candle and standing in front of them. If the flame flickers, there is probably a draft. Seal cracks in the frames with an epoxy wood filler and try adding locks to your windows. You can also apply a plastic film to the windowpanes and hang heavy, thermal drapes to preserve heat.
If your doors have gaps, you can fix these with weatherstripping from the hardware store. This will eliminate drafts, keeping you more comfortable and saving you money on your monthly bill. Toronto pest control experts also recommend doing this because it helps to keep pests out. Mice frequently crawl under doors during the fall and winter months.
2. Clean the gutters and check on the roof
Gutter cleaning is an important part of home maintenance because it directs water off the roof and away from the home, which helps to prevent flooding and serious damage. If your gutters are stuffed now, you risk creating ice dams, which can break the gutters and cause water damage to the roof and attic below.
Put on a pair of gardening gloves, then grab a bucket and a ladder. Scoop all the leaves and debris out of the gutters, then rinse them clean with a garden hose. Make sure that the gutters are sturdy and well attached to the home. Hire a professional if you need help.
3. Drain hoses and outdoor faucets
Close the valve to your outdoor faucet, then drain it completely. Empty the garden hose and put it away. This is an easy yet often overlooked task that can save you a lot of trouble. Freezing temperatures will cause your garden hose to crack, shortening its lifespan and forcing you to buy a new one. What’s worse is that having water in the faucet can cause pipes to burst and costing you hundreds in repairs. Do this now before it gets too cold.
4. Change the HVAC filter and clean vents
The air filter in your HVAC system removes dust, pet dander, and other impurities. Over time, it gets clogged, which reduces energy efficiency and runs dust through the air. Change the filter every few months so that air can flow freely. This will save you some money on your energy bill and help purify the air.
While you’re at it, vacuum out the vents in your home and clean out the dryer vent duct. The less dust, the better. Unplug the dryer, then disconnect the dryer duct from the back of the dryer. Vacuum and brush out the vent. Then, go outside, and remove the vent cover and vacuum it as well. Reconnect the dryer and remove lint after every load.
5. Protect your patio furniture
Patio furniture endures a lot of wear and tear from rain, snow, sun, and dust. Metal pieces will get rusty, and you will want to replace your furniture sooner than you have to. Put all your furniture away in a garage or shed for the winter. If you can’t, you should protect them with waterproof covers. This will keep them clean and dry, extending their lifespan and making spring setup easy.