The Dallas / Fort Worth area had the first hint of winter this weekend with temperatures dipping into the 30’s Saturday night. Winter is coming and it’s a great time to get your home ready for it. You’ll save money on energy and maybe even avoid a home insurance claim!
Grab the caulk gun and run a fresh bead along window and door frames. It will keep the cold air out and the warm air in. If you have older wood frame windows, apply new glazing to panes where the glazing is cracked or crumbling. For aluminum frame windows, run a bead of clear silicone caulk along the edge of the frame and panes to keep drafts out.
Apply new weather stripping along the side and top of the door frames and a draft guard to the bottom of the door. These two items will keep cold drafts out and warmer air in. If the budget permits it, add a storm door to all exterior doors. Storm doors provide a second barrier against the cold and keep more of your heat inside.
If you have a pier and beam foundation, consider adding batts of insulation beneath your floor. They’ll keep your feet and the rest of the house warmer. And while we’re talking about insulation, consider adding insulation to the attic. Over time, insulation tends to thin out and settle. Adding more insulation will pay for itself year round.
Get a checkup for your furnace or heat pump. We haven’t used our heaters since early April and a tune up assures everything is in proper working order. It also will pinpoint any problems that need to be addressed before we have a deep cold snap.
While you’re checking the furnace, step outside and look at the vent pipes. Confirm the cap is still on. Many have been blown off with our recent windy weather allowing leaves, pecans, and other debris to fall in the vent stack. This causes the heater to operate inefficiently.
Change your air filter. If you’re like our home, we haven’t used our air conditioning or heater until Saturday night. Change it now and then change them monthly so your heater works more efficiently. Fresh filters also cut down on indoor dust and allergens.
Did you change the batteries in your smoke alarms when we “fell back” a few weeks ago? If not, change them now, and install a carbon monoxide detector if you have a gas heater.
Wrap water pipes with insulation to prevent freezing and bursting during severe cold weather. When colder weather strikes open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around supply lines in the kitchen and bathrooms.
If you have a wood burning fire place, get the chimney flue cleaned by a chimney sweep. Creosote from burning wood can build up on the walls of the chimney and lead to a fire which can spread to the home.
What’s on your home winterization checklist? Share them and your tips with me on my Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!