If you live in New York chances are there’s going to be a period of time during the winter months when your house feels cold and drafty. Freezing temperatures and harsh winter conditions are not only uncomfortable during these times, but they can also do damage to your house. The following tips can help keep your pipes from bursting and keep you warm and comfortable during the upcoming cold weather.
Fighting drafts should be your first step toward preparing for winterization. Caulking windows and placing weather stripping around gaps in door frames can significantly cut down on the cold winter air that comes into the home. You may also want to replace screens with storm windows and doors to add an extra layer of protection. There is even a special kind of shrink wrap that can be placed over windows, which acts as an insulator. These items can all be purchased at your local Brinkmann’s Hardware and will help to make your home more efficient during the harsh winter months.
The next step to winterizing your home is to check your hot water heater. If it’s in a drafty area it may have to work harder to heat up your water, causing your utility bills to jump. Insulating the tank and the pipes leading away from your water tank can help prevent heat loss and lower your energy costs. Remember that newer tanks usually have insulation built-in, so you only have to insulate the pipes leading away from them.
Check upstairs and down. Before winter comes check your attic to ensure that it is properly insulated. Poor attic insulation can let heat escape, leaving you cold and uncomfortable. After you check your attic check the basement and your garage. Exposed pipes in these areas can freeze in cold weather, so make sure you’re using pipe insulation in these areas.
Change your furnace filter. A dirty filter means an inefficient furnace, so be sure to change it out at least twice a year. The beginning of fall and the beginning of spring are easy times to remember, but in case you forgot, do it now. Look for high MERV ratings to ensure that even the smallest particles are captured in the filter.
Finally, take a look outside. Winter storms can be windy and cause just as much havoc as summer storms, so put away anything that might blow around in wild weather. You should also check for loose shingles and roofing, which could be made worse by ice and snow. If you do see something awry it’s better to have it fixed before a leak happens than to wait for a problem to arise.