As November inches closer and closer, so does the colder weather. Our houses are equipped to keep you warm, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare anyways. We want you to be warm and happy this winter, so we've listed a few ways to prepare your home for the lower temperatures.
Respect your Gutters
During Fall, leaves come down relentlessly. You’re outside every weekend raking leaves, but you may be forgetting about your gutters. We recommend cleaning your gutters to ensure water can flow down your pipes. If leaves end up clogging your gutter, especially in colder months, they're more apt to freeze, causing additional blockages. Blocked gutters can allow melting ice and snow to seep into your roof, or flood your home's foundation, causing damage. We highly suggest regularly clearing your gutters during fall.
We love the colder months, because this means you can warm up by the fire at night. Before you begin to use your fireplace though, we recommend checking it. Over time, a sticky black substance can build up, and this can lead to a fire hazard. Shine a flashlight up your chimney, if you see cracks, gaps, or a suspicious buildup, call a professional for advice.
Think About Those Fans
You may think your ceiling fan can be useless during these colder months. Most fans have this unique feature, you’ve probably seen the switch but have never paid much attention to it. Turn the fan the opposite way, clockwise for the colder months & counterclockwise for the warmer months. It can actually save energy by pushing rising heat back into the room — at the same level as what your thermostat registers. Most fan models have a switch that reverses the blades' direction, try it for yourselves.
Seal Up Drafts
No matter how high you crank your heat during the winter, you’re still going to feel a chill if you don’t seal up the leaks in your house. Here are the main places to check.
Ducts: You can do some DIY home duct-leak repair using mastic sealant or metal tape to insulate all the ducts you can access. Never use Duct tape, its not actually long lasting. If you’re not confident in your ducts, a professional duct leak test will determine for you where your air is being wasted. Contact a professional if you’re suspicious.
Exterior cracks: Check for cracks in the exterior walls of your home and use caulk to seal them.
Windows: To check for drafts, first make sure each window is properly closed and latched and that any exterior storm windows are closed. Then check for visible gaps or seams around the window and apply caulk to those. Invest in insulated drapes to ensure the most warmth.
Doors: If you feel a cool air draft around the seams of your door, you must install weather strips around the edges of your external doors. Even if you heat the air inside of your home, that warm air is going to flow outside around the edges of your doors and be replaced by cool outdoor air. This small tip will lead to a huge decrease in the energy bill.
Here's what we think the best ways are to prepare for the colder months. We hope you stay warm and cozy in these upcoming months. Don't forget your hot cocoa and fuzzy blankets, the holidays aren't too far away!
We've created a PDF to share with your friends and family as we take on the colder weather together