Fall was short lived and winter is here, so prepare your home for the change in temperature and scenery for the months’ long “sleep” that winter brings. Let’s revisit a few things you can do now to keep your home warm and toasty for the season.
Ensure Adequate Insulation of Doors/Windows/Attics – Control chilly drafts that steal heat by adding to or replacing worn out foam or rubber weather seals around doors and windows, and blow in or add some additional insulation in the attic to help keep the heat in and the cold out.
Use a Humidifier – Cold, dry air contributes to many bad side effects like cracked lips, irritated sinus passages, bloody noses, sore throats, itchy skin and other respiratory ailments. Bacteria and viruses cannot travel as well in moist air either, so get a humidifier for your home to help counteract these problems during the winter months. Indoor humidity levels of furnace-heated air can decline to 10% or less, so endeavor to keep the house at a humidity level of 43% or slightly more and breathe easier and healthier this winter.
Utilize Ceiling Fans – Especially beneficial with a humidifier, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan blades to push the warm and moist air back down towards the floor to keep the air from getting stagnant and to prevent moisture condensation from forming on the windows.
Insulate or Wrap Pipes – Frozen water pipes can cause major damage if they burst, so get some inexpensive tape or foam pipe insulation that you can install yourself to cover any exposed copper or PVC water pipes. Be sure to use it under sinks, in attics and crawl spaces, on any exposed pipes along exterior walls, and pay particular attention to basements, where 37% of all burst pipes occur.
Rotate Window Shades/Blinds – Open your shades or blinds to let in natural sun light during the day to help warm the house, and then close them at night to help trap the heat inside.
Clean Out and Inspect Gutters – Snow melting and re-freezing can cause clogged gutters to back up and freeze once temperatures drop, so make sure your gutters are clean and functioning properly so melting snow runs off your roof and out through the downspouts to prevent any potential water damage issues.
Inspect the Furnace and Chimney – Many fires in homes are caused by faulty chimneys, furnaces and space heaters, so it is a good idea to inspect and service these features each year to make sure they are up to the task of keeping your house safe and warm. Have an HVAC specialist service your furnace and examine your chimney inside and out to look for potential leaks to prevent water from leaking in, and check the chimney cap to keep heat-seeking animals out. Moreover, if your chimney is wood burning, hire a chimney sweep if excessive dirt or soot deposits which can lead to fires need to be cleared out.
Lastly, if you use a space heater anywhere in the home, make sure that it is properly set up and that it is not placed close to anything that is easily combustible.
Give us a call if we can help make your home more a true haven for the winter months!