How to Winterize Your Home
On top of being uncomfortable for people, cold winters can also potentially cause a lot of damage to objects, including homes. Being unprepared for the harsh temperatures that come with winter can lead to damage that can be very expensive to fix, so it’s important for homeowners to ensure their home is ready for winter. This process is called winterizing, and it can be done in many ways. Some are simple and can be done in a matter of seconds, and some are more intensive, so there are winterizing strategies that fit every budget and schedule. Here are some of those different winterizing strategies that homeowners can use to prepare for cold weather.
Change the Furnace’s Filter
Homeowners should always remember to change their furnace’s filter regularly to help keep it running smoothly. Most filters need to be changed every few months, but the exact time between changing will depend on the model and size of the filter. When the weather starts to get cold, it can be a good idea to change the filter, even if it doesn’t quite need to be changed yet. During cold winters, furnaces need to work much harder than usual to operate and heat the home, and operating with a dirty filter can make it even more difficult. When the furnace has to strain itself in order to work, it’s prone to breaking down much more easily, and no one wants their furnace to break down in the middle of winter.
Insulate Water Pipes
Most people have heard of pipes bursting when the weather gets too cold, and this is a huge problem if it happens. A burst pipe can cause a home to flood in the middle of winter, which can cause untold damage that is costly to repair. In order to help lower the risk of pipes bursting, homeowners can insulate their pipes. This can be done in a few different ways:
- For pipes beneath sinks, open up the cupboard door that is hiding them. Allowing warm air to go in and out of the cupboard helps keep them from freezing.
- Wrap towels or foam around the pipes in order to insulate them. The extra layer will help prevent the pipes from being directly exposed to the cold.
- For spigots on the home’s exterior, purchase a faucet cover or a faucet sock to help prevent bursts.
Burst pipes are caused by stagnant water sitting in the pipes and freezing. When water freezes, it expands, and if there isn’t enough space for expansion, the pipes burst. In tandem with insulating the pipes, homeowners can also let their faucets drip. This keeps the water flowing, which helps prevent freezing.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Everyone knows that ceiling fans can help keep a hot room cooler during the warm summer months, but not as many people know that fans can also help warm rooms during the winter. In order to do this, the homeowner needs to find the switch located somewhere on the base of the fan. Flipping the switch will change the direction that the fan turns. To keep a room warm, it should move counterclockwise, and to keep a room cool, it should go clockwise. The counterclockwise movement forces heat that has settled on the ceiling downward, warming the room.
When autumn comes and the weather starts getting colder, all homeowners need to start thinking about winterizing their home. Taking these steps early on can help prevent damage to the home later on in the year.