Inside Winter Home Preparation Tips - Talk To Tony

Winter Home Preparation Tips

Last article we discussed how to prepare the outside of your home for winter, so this week we will cover inside winter home preparation tips to get your home ready for the chilly holiday months. Follow these simple winter home preparation tips to save a bit on energy bills, avoid cold weather wear on your home, and to ensure your family is warm this winter:

  • Walls and Attics – Insulate these and pay close attention to air ducts. Your ducts are often times out of sight, out of mind, tucked away in the attic or basement, but a home with central heating can lose about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system. Make sure your ducts are in order by properly sealing and insulating them. Tightly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills.
  • Doors and Windows – To keep the cold out, heat in, and avoid drafts make sure you have installed storm windows and doors by first frost.  Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points.
    • Layer curtains and shades for extra insulation. You can find curtains made of insulation material or bulk up a light fabric with a layer of cotton flannel on the backside. Layers mean you can quickly change the look of your windows based on seasons or just a change in mood. Remember, open curtains help reduce energy use, too.
  • Fireplace and Heating Systems – Have a professional inspect and clean out your chimney and keep your flue closed when you are not using it. Also, have a professional perform a routine check of the heating systems before cold weather arrives. This should include vacuuming the vents and other heating components. If your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing.
  • Water heater – Consider an insulated blanket to protect and keep out freezing temperatures that can damage the heater.
  • Water Pipes – Wrap the ones found in the basement or crawl spaces with insulated sleeves to slow heat transfer. If your house will be unattended during cold periods, consider draining the water system.
  • Ceiling Fans – Switch the direction of the ceiling fan’s rotation to reverse the airflow and circulate warm air around the room. This works especially well in rooms with high ceilings as heat rises and collects near the ceiling, the fans will redirect the warm air down to where people are gathering.
  • Furniture – Make sure all furniture is moved away from heating vents and the fireplace to avoid fire risks.
  • Protect your Carpet/Floorings – Set up a “mud room” at any entryway entering the home from the outside. It allows you to stomp off the ice and mud from your boots as well as shake off the frozen rain from your jackets and coats. Consider having a bench for sitting, cubbies for boots, and coat racks for the extra layers.

 

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