Preventive Maintenance: Simple DIY Tasks for Winterizing Your Home
It starts all over again every fall. You dig out the warm clothing and overcoats. Boots have to be rediscovered, and you find out whether last winter’s gloves and scarves survived. It’s much the same process for your vehicles.. You’re winterizing once again and preparing yourself and your family for another season of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. But there are other precautions you need to take.
Your home also needs to be winterized. Its component parts, inside and out, are vulnerable to the effects of extreme cold. Neglecting those things that keep your house functioning could cause substantial damage and deal your family a crippling financial blow. Fortunately, you can protect your most valuable asset with a relatively simple home maintenance routine and careful monitoring of devices that can help prevent the worst from happening.
Performing regular home maintenance keeps everything operating smoothly throughout the winter. One of the most important tasks you can perform is changing your furnace filter every month. It’s absolutely essential for maintaining a clean and even airflow. A dirty filter traps bacteria and other contaminants that can set off a pattern of illness and respiratory problems you certainly don’t need during cold and flu season. Regular filter changes will also extend the life of your furnace, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
If you use your fireplace to stay toasty, cleaning is a must to prevent a house fire, though usually this is best left to the professionals. On average, the price to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned in Cary, North Carolina, will fall within the $149-$248 price range. This necessary expenditure is worth it for putting safety first.
No more drafts
When the temperature plummets, the one place you expect to shelter in warmth and comfort is your own home. A drafty house is miserable, and it costs money you could easily save. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts are leaks that waste from 5 to 30 percent of total energy usage. It’s surprisingly easy to stop those leaks. Simply place a rolled-up bath towel along the bottom of your exterior doors, or install an energy strip, another quick and cost-effective solution.
Windows and doorways account for a majority of your home’s energy loss during the winter. Installing storm doors and windows isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but your heating bill will confirm that it’s well worth the effort. Federal tax credits are available for those who save on heating costs in this way, up to $200 for windows and skylights and $500 for doors.
Don’t forget the furnace
A clean, efficient and well-running furnace is absolutely indispensable in wintertime, so make sure that yours receives regular maintenance. Some HVAC companies will give your heating unit a thorough checkup to make sure it’s ready to go when you need it most, just make sure you do your research on local HVAC companies in the Cary area to get the best price. Remember, changing furnace filters is an excellent way to head off problems long before they happen.
Add a little insulation
Adding insulation to your walls, in the attic and crawl space, and around external water pipes is another good way to save money and keep your home warm. If you live in an especially cold climate, protecting your pipes is crucial. When frozen pipes burst, the water damage will cost you heavily, forcing you to have new pipes installed and repair damage to walls and flooring.
Try adding fiberglass insulation or install a heating cable to prevent freezing. If you’re planning to be away from home for an extended period, remember to keep a very small flow of water running to prevent freezing, and don’t neglect your outdoor water spigots. If you have any plants and flowers outside, be sure to cover them well.
You can keep your house warm and trouble-free with some easy DIY initiatives and a little help from the pros. Protecting your pipes, taking good care of your furnace, and eliminating drafts will save you a bundle and keep everyone warm and comfortable no matter how hard the wind blows this winter. You can do a lot of good with a little effort.