Today’s topic is winterizing your home. I know what you are thinking, this is middle of summer and it is not time to think about cold weather! Actually now is a very good time to start thinking about winterization. So many people wait till the last second, generally when the snow is on the ground, to react to winter. All I am saying is plan your work and start to make your checklist so when the time comes you will have already done your home work . Then all you have to do is work your plan. So what kinds of things should you have on your list:
1. Close vents to crawlspaces. Too many of our clients forget to do this. This can cause serious damage to pipes, and you need to consume much more energy to heat your rooms.
2. Add insulation to poorly insulated spaces. Once we get into moderate temperatures, go around your house and try and remember which were cool spots that could be addressed with additional insulation. Have your attic checked out to see if there is a minimum of R=30 insulation (and preferably R=38).
3. Verify that there is proper ventilation in your attic. Once the temperatures rise and fall it is easy for moisture to condensate in the attic, thus causing mold. Even in the wintertime it is essential to have proper ventilation in your attic.
4. Replace missing or broken weather stripping. Now is the time to check windows and doors to see if seals have been broken. Check under and along doors and around windows.
5. If you have storm windows, check now to see if they are in good order or if they need to be replaced or repaired. If you wait till winter when everybody else is wanting to repair the storm sashes, it is a lot harder to get this accomplished.
6. Verify your roof and gutters are in good working order. This is one of the biggest items we see that cause problems. Such things as shingles that have blown off, stopped up gutters and downspouts, clogged yard drain lines, roof flashings etc.. All can be very difficult to repair if there is snow. Obviously you need to be constantly vigilant to make sure gutters and downspouts are running freely and there are no serious problems with your roof.
7. Drain and winterize outside water lines when the time comes. Decide now which lines you will leave on and which you will turn off. There is a very interesting phenomenon about the freezing of hot vs. cold pipes. Please read the web article. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF4/440.html
8. Clean and service furnaces and boilers. You want your heating units to be in the most efficient state possible to conserve energy. Also you should be changing your filters REGULARLY. This means a minimum once every 3 months. I change mine every 2 months. If you have had recent work done on your house or even if there is construction work being performed adjacent to your home, by all means change the filters very frequently. The few dollars for filters go a long way for energy consumption efficiency.
9. If you feel you need help, we are always here to help you prepare and show you how to take care of your home.
I hope this gives you useful information. By my next newsletter make it a point to have your checklist up to date and ready to be implemented.
By the way, if you do this, without even knowing, you will be a part of the GREEN movement. So you are not only helping yourself, but helping save the planet. How’s that for an incentive.
Until next time.