Winterizing Your New Home During the Cold Months
Are you moving to a new home in the winter months? No matter how old your home, and no matter how long you’ve been living in it, every home needs protection from harsh winter weather.
You can save money on heating costs and maintenance by taking some practical steps to ensure your home is protected during the winter. We’ve put together our top tips for making sure you stay safe, warm, and comfortable this winter.
1. Find and Seal Leaks
Inspect your home inside and out. Pay close attention to windows, doors, crawl space access panels, and exterior vents. Use a flashlight to look for small cracks in window seals. Use the paper test to look for invisible cracks: hold a sheet of paper and move it slowly around the window or door. If you see movement, chances are you’ve got an air leak, even if you might not see it. Replace cracked, old, or worn weather sealing around doors and windows.
2. Seal Masonry and Hard Surfaces
Using a brush or roller, apply a commercial sealant appropriate for the material to be covered. Apply the sealant only when the surface is clean and dry. If necessary, power wash and allow to air dry to avoid trapping contaminants in the masonry or hard surface. Apply concrete or asphalt sealant to your driveway after you’ve patched any cracks.
3. Change Your Furnace Filter
At the start of the season change your furnace filter, then check it every month to determine if it needs replacing. Filters tend to get dirty more quickly if your home is dusty or if you have pets with fur. Dirty or clogged filters are less efficient, meaning your home might not warm up correctly.
4. Check Smoke and CO2 Detectors
With windows closed, it’s more likely that smoke from stoves and ovens and gas from appliances will build up more quickly than during times of the year when your home receives more exterior ventilation.
Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they are operating correctly. Replace detector batteries annually. If you have a fire extinguisher, check the expiration date on the manufacturer’s tag, and replace if necessary.
5. Clean Chimney
Hire a professional chimney sweep to remove creosote buildup in your fireplace. Don’t rely on chemical logs to remove buildup from your fireplace. They’re no substitute for a professional to clean out your chimney.
6. Clear Gutters
With winter weather in full swing, you might think it’s too late to take care of cleaning your gutters, but clogs can lead to costly repairs from water leaks and improper water drainage. If you haven’t cleaned your gutters this season, contact a professional to do it for you.
7. Check Attic and Basement
Make sure your attic or basement haven’t become a home to animals. Winter is the perfect time for birds and small animals to seek shelter from the cold. If you find a wild animal of any kind living in your attic or basement, don’t remove it yourself. Contact your city’s animal control department for advice, and do a Google search for animal removal..
8. Reverse Direction of Ceiling Fans
Improve comfort and energy efficiency by reversing the direction of your ceiling fans in your home. This will create an upward draft pushing the warm air at the ceiling down to the main part of the room. Reversing the direction of the ceiling fan will help you resist cranking up the thermostat.
9. Get Yard Equipment Ready for the Spring
When warmer weather arrives, you’ll want to be prepared. Examine your lawn mower, hedge trimmers, and hand tools. Oil your equipment and take to a repair shop if necessary.
10. Insulate Water Heater
Save energy costs by insulating your hot water tank. Unless you have a tankless hot water system, wrap your water heater with insulation; hardware stores sell made-to-measure hot water tank insulation systems. You’ll save energy by redirecting heat loss back into your hot water supply, and get a more abundant supply of hot water.
Ready for Your New Home?
If you are moving and need help relocating to your new home this winter or throughout the year contact us at Corrigan Moving Systems, we can help.
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