Winterizing your home is the only sure-fire way to maintain comfort and energy savings during the cold season. With three simple steps your house will be set when the winter weather settles in.
1. Give Your Furnace A Little TLC
A furnace is to a winter day as a Whole House Fan is to the hottest day of the year: your best friend. Make sure your furnace is in good shape with an annual tuneup from a licensed HVAC specialist, and don't forget to change your air filters regularly! Joseph Truini of Popular Mechanics says filters should be changed at least every other month because dirty or clogged filters “dramatically reduces the efficiency of the furnace.”
2. Winterize Your Cooling System
Speaking of cold air, your home cooling system works hard to keep you comfortable all summer long — it deserves a little time off. Simple steps like installing a Whole House Fan winter insert can make all the difference when the temperatures drop, preventing heat loss and expensive energy bills. For air conditioners, waterproof AC covers are a must to keep your outdoor unit safe from the elements. Just shut the power off to the unit, clean out any dirt and debris, toss the cover on and you’re all set!
These quick and easy steps are not only cost effective, they'll keep the warm air in and the cold air out all season long, making sure your home cooling system is ready to go when the warm temperatures return, and reducing the strain on your furnace (and wallet) through the winter months!
3. Protect Your Pipes
By now it’s clear that battling the cold winter air is the name of the game, and your plumbing needs help in that department, too. Keep your boiler or hot water heater working at peak performance by insulating the water lines, and take the time to flush the system to clear any build up inside. Don’t forget more vulnerable plumbing either — exposed pipes in your attic or crawlspace and outside faucets bear the brunt of the elements.
Water lines should be wrapped in insulation and heat tape, according to Amanda Simms of Mr. Rotor Router via HGTV, and protected from drafts by closing any vents circulating cold air from outside. Foam covers on outside faucets couldn’t be easier to install, and leaving a slow drip on an inside faucet with the cabinets open during the coldest of nights will keep your water flowing freely.
Want to take your home winterization to the next level? Bob Vila's team says reverse your ceiling fans to better circulate warm air, and check your windows and doors for leaky seals. A little bit of caulk, weatherstrip tape and draft guards are more quick and easy ways to keep your home warm and your energy bill low all winter long.
Winterizing your home is really important — but it doesn’t have to be a big undertaking. These tips will help keep your home as comfortable and efficient as can be until the warm weather returns.