Many of us anticipate winter with great excitement after weathering the brutal heat that summer can bring. It’s hard not to be drawn in by the magic of the first frost, a blanket of white on the mountain tops, and the crispness of chilly air. The allure may start to fade, however, in the event that the rain, ice, and snow compromise our home.
We can continue our appreciation of the colder weather if we prepare our homes for the coming season. Here are a few simple steps to winterize your home:
- Storm windows – Shut them tight in order to save on heating expenses. The four corners of sliding storm windows must be checked to ensure that they are engaged in the tracks to prevent leaks.
- Pipes and faucets – Remove your garden hoses and put them in storage for the duration of winter. Engage the shutoff valve for the garden pipes, usually located in the garage or basement of your house. After shutting off the valve, turn on the spigot to let water completely drain. Leave the spigot unobstructed until the coming of spring. Use hose bib covers on the water faucets outside the house and in the garden.
- Drafts – Watch for drafts coming from behind electrical switches and wall outlets. These drafts occur because there is no insulation behind electrical boxes inside the walls. This can easily be remedied by unscrewing the cover plate and adding an insulated gasket before reattaching the cover plate. Closing the pathways of the drafts can save you a substantial amount on your next utility bill.
- Cracks – There are usually small cracks where the baseboards meet the floor. Those small cracks or gaps can be closed up with sealant. Use water-based sealants using a color that matches the trim. You will reduce uncomfortable drafts and lower your energy bills at the same time.
- Looks for gaps – Be on the lookout for gaps, cracks, or voids in the attic floor, basement ceiling, and other areas. Fill the gaps with insulating foam. It expands to fill spaces of most any shape or size, saving you money throughout the winter.
Consult your local home improvement store and ask for more tips on how to properly prepare your house for the coming winter. It’s cheaper and easier to spend a few hours winter proofing your house than to spend days making costly repairs down the line.