Winter is quickly approaching! You’ve cleaned your gutters, checked your roof, shut off your exterior faucets and put in your storm door; but have you done anything to weatherproof the inside of your house? Weatherproofing inside your house this winter will make sure the cold air stays out - it might also save you some money on your heating-related bills!
Do you notice a draft coming in around your doors?
First, use a door sweep slide it under the door to stop the breeze. Still have some cold air seeping through? Take a look at the weather-stripping in your door jamb. If it looks a little tired consider replacing it; and if you don’t have any at all, head to your local hardware store and pick up some.
What about your windows?
When the wind starts blowing can you hear (and feel) the air slipping through? You can apply some additional weather-stripping between the sash and frame. You will also want to check the caulking around the window frame on the inside and outside of your house and fill in any gaps you may find. Take advantage of your window coverings as they can provide some extra insulation.
When’s the last time you were in your attic or crawl space?
Give your insulation routine checkups, moisture building up could cause mold and mildew to grow on your insulation, in that case it may be time to check for leaks and replace the affected sheets. If you think you are losing too much heat through your attic, You may choose to add more insulation, check the building codes in your area to see what is recommended. When inspecting your crawl space the most important thing to do is, again, look for water damage; as having water build up could weaken the structure of your home and cause poor indoor air quality.
Before summer hits you want to make sure that your AC is working right?
The same applies to winter and your heater. Test your heater well before you think you’ll need it, if anything isn’t working properly you’ll have time to shop around for a reasonable repair estimate, and save yourself from a mountain of stress. Next, swap out the air filter and clean up the area around the heater, this way there is nothing keeping your heater from its optimal performance. Don’t forget to test your fire and carbon monoxide detectors, replace the batteries every 6 months!
You like warm showers right?
So don’t forget to give your water heater some attention too. Don’t ignore the warning signs, such as rusty hot water, loud noises when it’s heating up and moisture on or around the tank. Take into consideration the age of the heater, if it’s around 10 years old you should start to think about replacing it. To save some money on your heating costs add an insulation blanket to the outside of the tank (DO NOT cover the tops of oil or gas heaters); you can also reduce the temperature that the water is heated to.
Before you dust off your hands and call it a day, you may also want to consider preparing your car for the colder months. You can start by gathering up supplies for an emergency kit:
- A change of clothes
- A pair of gloves
- A blanket
- A flashlight with working batteries
- Non-perishable snacks
If you run into trouble you can stay warm and hydrated, while you wait for help. Remember to check the fluid levels, especially your engine oil and anti-freeze levels, look in your car’s owner manual for the recommended oil type and how often you should replace it. Pay attention to your tire pressure and tread depth, both of these things can really affect how well your car performs in bad weather. Finally test your battery; having a bad battery means that it will eventually fail to hold a charge and produce enough energy to start your car. Typically a battery under 4 years old will be more reliable.
Using these guidelines will not only help you stay warm this winter, it will keep you cool this summer. It will also keep your house (and car) healthy and, hopefully, avoid those pricey unexpected repairs.