7 Tips on Winterizing Your Home

Winter is now officially here and before the chilly climate truly takes form, you'll want to make sure your home is fully prepared for the season. Take note of some common and some little known tips on winterizing your home for the next three months.

  • Insulate! Insulating your water lines can help reduce hot water costs and can help decrease the chances of your pipes freezing. As water freezes inside a pipe, it expands, potentially causing damage to the pipe and serious water damage inside your home. Use pre-slit pipe foam and secure it with duct tape. The insulation check also goes for your walls and plug/switch outlets, which could release a ton of heat if the insulation within is not up to par.
  • Check your gutters to clear them of any clutter, which may include dirt and leaves, in order to help prevent stoppage that may lead to water damage to your roof, ceilings and walls.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy says that drafts that flow through under your doors can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Use a draft snake to help block this flow and save some money on your energy bills.
  • Many ceiling fans are able to reverse the direction of the blades. Switching the rotation of the blades to clockwise actually makes it warmer and helps curb a reliance on your heating system.
  • It may sound like common sense, but installing a storm door and windows can increase energy efficiency by shutting out the cold and letting light and ventilation enter your home at the same time.
  • Clean your deck.  Mold and mildew can form on deck surfaces, leading to wood rot. Cleaning and sealing these surfaces can help extend the life of your deck. Mildew-covered surfaces can become really dangerous as they freeze in the winter causing them to be extra slippery.
  • Check your furnace and change the filter regularly. New furnaces can go up to five years without professional maintenance, but keeping the filter changed regularly helps it perform best during the cold months. Older furnaces may need a professional check-up. You can have someone inspect your furnace and look for carbon monoxide leaks to insure that it’s performing at its best efficiency.

Hopefully these tips can help you enjoy a safe and - most importantly - warm winter in 2015!

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Roger Maranan February 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Thanks for great saving tips.

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Joy Cosby January 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Great tips!!!

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Ed Kirk December 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

Will, Great points. Thanks for sharing! See some of what Johns Hopkins is doing at Sustainability.jhu.edu.

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