10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter has arrived. You can tell by the bare trees, early nights, and layer of frost in the morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it isn’t too late. Follow these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm during winter.

1. Plan for Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment

Your furnace has been unused all summer. To make preparations for another heating season, schedule a visit from a qualified technician to inspect, clean and service the equipment. The most affordable way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape over the years is to sign up for a Maintenance+ membership.

2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected

Hire a professional to inspect and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace annually. This service clears away ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in excellent condition.

3. Seal Air Leaks

As you start to run your furnace in cold weather, try to find and seal air leaks that will allow cold outdoor air to get inside. The quickest way to discover leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick in areas that might be leaky, such as near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you find with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.

4. Keep Ceiling Fans in Reverse

Ceiling fans keep you cool in the summer, but they can also disperse warm air down to the living space in the winter. For better results, set your fans on low and find the switch that lets them spin in reverse. This strategy is most effective in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.

5. Install Insulating Drapes

Another way to winterize your home is to trade out delicate, summery window coverings for heavy, insulating drapes. Remember to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun warms your home for free. Then, pull the curtains after dark for added insulation against the cold night air.

6. Insulate Your Pipes

As the temperature dips, exposed pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting. Put in foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to minimize the risk. Electric heat tape beneath the insulation gives you an additional layer of protection in particularly cold climates.

7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances raises the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter. Be careful with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, put in CO detectors on every floor of your home, especially close to sleeping areas. Test your alarms each month and swap out the batteries twice a year.

8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You could save on heating bills this winter by installing a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is a high-tech option where you can change the settings remotely using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.

9. Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, preventing melted snow from draining off the roof. When ignored, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structural elements in the attic. Try these tips to deter ice dams this winter:

    • Clean the gutters so water can flow properly.
    • Ventilate the attic to avoid heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
    • Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
    • Insulate the attic floor to further restrict heat transfer through the ceiling.
    • Seal and insulate ductwork running through the attic.
    • Confirm your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outdoors, not into the attic.

10. Keep Deicer Handy

Slips and falls are particularly common in cold winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk on by scattering salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer along the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Be sure to read the directions for correct application tips and recommended precautions.

Winterizing Your Home with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts

Many winterization tips relate primarily to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, call Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer quality furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing work, and other services to prepare your home for winter weather. For more info about our services or to {request|schedule|arrange]] an estimate, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.

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