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15 Ways To Winterize Your Home
So, get ready to have the jackets, boots, gloves and scarves: Winter is Coming. We want you to have as easy a transition as possible so here’s 15 ways to winterize your home before we get into the dreaded WINTER.
1. Bring in or cover your outdoor furniture. Hardwood furniture can stay outside (just keep them near the house). Soft woods need to come indoors, at least to a garage or water tight shed. Store plastic or wicker indoors. Most aluminum is hollow and needs to come in as well.
2. Close your windows: It should go without saying that being warm during the winter and leaving your window unit air conditioner installed all year are mutually exclusive things. It should also go without saying that before cold weather hits, you should make sure that your windows are closed completely but we can’t all be rocket surgeons so here’s your friendly reminder!
3.Turn off outdoor water: Find the indoor water shutoff for all outside lines and turn it off. (You can call your water company or plumber if you can’t find it) Turn on the spigots and drain them and then disconnect and coil your hoses and put them somewhere inside.
4.Insulate your pipes: while you have the plumber there, also have them show you any exposed water pipes you have, and then wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores.
5. Replace and Program thermostats: If your thermostats aren’t programmable, replace them: They’re easy to install and cost anywhere from $35 to $250—which you’ll make back in a month or two. Set the thermostat to click on every time the daytime temperature drops below, say, 68°F. My boyfriend’s house is set to only turn on if it goes below 55°F!
6.Check the Roof for any damaged shingles or funky-looking places. Better to replace a few shingles now than wake up to water hitting your face.
7. Check your alarm systems: smoke detectors should be tested every 6 months, and replaced every 5 years. Carbon Monoxide detectors also need to be installed if you use gas frequently in your home.
8. Service Your Heater - Every winter you should make it a point to have your heater serviced. Not only does this ensure your heater is in good working order but will alert you to any issues early on. There really isn’t anything worse than the heater breaking down during a winter storm.
9. Clean and Maintain your Gutters: namely, clean them out thoroughly and install some sort of screen so water can get into the gutters but not leaves. Gross. Also make sure you have extenders on your gutters so they’re taking the water 3-5 feet away from your foundation.
10. Flush Your Water Heater: turns out those things collect stuff in the bottom over time, lessening the efficiency. Check out this video from This Old House for the how-to.
11. Replace your Air Filters: if you have forced heat, check the filters in all the vents, those things get gunked up pretty frequently, which means your heater has to work harder to get you the same heat. 12. Reverse Your Fan: This is one I don’t know about, but several people now have told me that reversing your ceiling fans blades’ will make them force hot air down from the ceiling: So if you look up at your ceiling fan, reversing it should mean it’s turning clock-wise.
13. Move Your Furniture: make sure they’re at least a few feet away from your vents so they’re not blocking air flow. Also, pro-tip, if you have hot water heat, I don’t recommend putting a table anywhere near it unless you want a perpetually hot thing at thigh level in which to burn yourself.
14. Service/Repair Your Snow-blowers and shovels: because really the worst thing ever is getting ready to go shovel the walk only to get 3 scoops in before the darn thing cracks and breaks and you’re left with a long plastic handle, or worse, your snow-blower dying halfway through getting your driveway handled and you’re forced to push it back into the garage.
15. Prune the trees: especially the ones near your house, a heavy snow storm could wipe out the branches and you don’t need that nonsense hitting your roof or breaking a window. Hope this helps you get a head start on the coming seasons, and I hope you find lots of warmth and happiness this autumn.
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