Winter is fast approaching and whether you own a home or are renting, it’s time to prepare your home for colder temperatures. Follow these helpful tips from Zenith Properties to ensure your home is energy efficient and safe for when Old Man Winter hits.
Having your home insulated will make a big impact on the comfort of your home (in both summer and winter) and will improve your energy efficiency, reducing your electricity and gas bills.
In addition to insulation, sealing around your doors and windows will also make a big difference in your heating. Walk around your home, inspecting windows and doors. Weatherstripping and caulking can wear down over time and cause warm air to escape.
Consider Upgrading Appliances
If your budget allows for it, invest in new and updated appliances. Modern HVAC systems and tankless water heaters are drastically more energy efficient compared to their older counterparts.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Although gutters and downspouts are often forgotten, not maintaining them can cause a host of problems. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to soil erosion, foundation cracks, and standing water–which attracts pests. They can also affect the integrity of your roofing.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Lowering your thermostat settings at night and when you’re not home can save you on heating costs. To make this more convenient, you may want to consider installing a programmable thermostat. Just maintain a temperature of no lower than 65 degrees to help prevent pipes from freezing.
Weatherproof Exterior Pipes
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Frozen pipes can crack and burst, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Shut off your outside pipes at the mains and ensure they’re drained, including your irrigation system. Cover your spigots with insulated faucet covers. They’re affordable and found at most hardware stores.
Prepare for Storms
Winter brings rain, sleet, and snow. Make sure you have the tools necessary to keep you safe and comfortable, such as sand bags, salt, snow shovels, and a generator.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned
If you have a fireplace, you’ll want to have it cleaned by a professional. Creosote buildup, leaves, and bird nests can create fire hazards.
Flush Your Water Heater
Sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater, creating hot spots that can damage the tank in gas water heaters or cause the heating element to fail in electric-powered ones. You’ll want to drain your water heater at least once a year or hire a plumber to do it for you as part of regular maintenance.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof isn’t there for just looks. It protects your home from the elements. Give your roof a good inspection to identify loose or missing shingles.
Whether you own a home or are renting, preparing your home for the winter months can save you a lot of time and stress and keep your family safe and comfortable.
Hopefully these winter maintenance tips will help you get prepared for the cold weather (and possible snow) that comes with our Pacific Northwest winter. If you have any questions about our homes in the Clark County WA area, give us a call!