Is Your Home Winter-Ready?

Did winter sneak up on you this year? It’s okay! There’s still time to winterize your home so it ready to take on the elements. While it might not be invincible, your home and peace of mind will be a lot better off if you do these eight things.

1 – Insulate

Your house should already be insulated in key places such as the attic, basement, pipes, and exterior walls. But when was the last time you inspected it to make sure it could withstand the winter? It’s important to do this at least once or twice a year to ensure it isn’t thinning or damp. When in this state, your insulation won’t be able to do its job properly, causing excessive air flow and becoming a breeding ground for unwanted bugs.

2 – Caulk Where Needed

It’s easy for small gaps to form doors, walls, and windows. Don’t let them cause your energy bill to spike! Sealing these spaces with caulking can cause your home’s temperature to rise and energy bills to fall.

One way to see which spaces need caulking is to do the following test: have someone stand outside a window, door, or wall with a blow dryer while you hold a lit candle inside. If the dryer extinguishes the flame, it’s time to do some caulking.

It’s also important to check previously caulked areas to see if they’re stilling holding up. If not, a fresh coat of caulking is needed.

3 – Clean the Garage

Or at least keep it as clean as possible. While not a necessity, having a clear garage allows there to be room for vehicles. This means you don’t have to scrape windows on those bitterly cold mornings and that your car will be protected during snow storms.

4 – Keep an Eye on Your Furnace

Before it gets too cold, make sure your furnace is up to snuff. If it isn’t turning on or working properly, call a professional to take a look at it. Otherwise, just be sure to change its filters on a monthly basis so your home receives proper air flow.

5 – Reduce Your Water Heater’s Temperature

During the winter, lowering your water heater’s temperature can have surprising benefits. If you already haven’t, change your heater from 140 degrees Fahrenheit (it’s typical default setting) to 120 degrees. This small alteration can lower your energy bills by up to 10 per cent while still enabling comfort.

6 – Install a Programmable Thermostat

We all like to stay warm in the winter but did you know that you could lower your energy bill by keeping your home’s temperature down? Within reason, of course. You should never compromise you or your family’s wellbeing to spare a few dollars. At the same time, keeping temps down when you’re not home could have huge benefits without causing discomfort.

7 – Install a Chimney Balloon

Prevent your chimney from becoming a major source of heat loss by installing a chimney balloon. This can help keep drafts out of your home and is especially useful if you don’t use your fireplace that often.

8 – Weatherstrip it Up

This is another great way to seal off those annoying cracks and crevices around windows and doors. Sometimes, drafts that emerge from these holes can even damage your home’s insulation. Thankfully, weatherstripping can easily fix this problem or prevent it from happening altogether.

There are other ways to protect your property from winter’s wrath as well, such as clearing your gutters and releasing water from your pipes. However, it’s not always safe to perform these tasks in icy or freezing conditions.  Do what you can to protect your home and always remember that it’s never too early to winterize.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. Be sure to like us on Facebook for regular news and updates.

Rasha Ingratta & Mortgage Associates

By Mortgage Intelligence

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