6 Home Prep Tips to Save you Money in the Winter
Winter is rapidly approaching. Winters in Idaho mean sub-freezing temperatures, snow, and dry air. This means that homeowners have some prep work to do before the freeze settles in. Luckily, these 6 tips are cheap and easy to do, and can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs and on your electricity bills.
Get your sprinklers blown out
Hopefully, you have this done in the mid-fall before the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. Freezing water causes pipes to break, which is costly to repair, both in terms of time and expenses.
Drain exterior faucets
Remove and drain your hoses from exterior spigots and make sure water is out of the faucet. If any pipes inside your house run through uninsulated areas, leave a faucet dripping to keep water flowing. Running water doesn’t freeze as easily. You may also consider wrapping the spigot and/or exposed piping with insulation sleeves to help prevent freezing and, subsequently, broken pipes.
Inspect your roof & gutters
Roof leaks allow water to get inside and begin molding your walls and insulation. In addition, ice dams in your gutters cause structural damage when the weight of the ice cracks the gutters and walls. Have a contractor inspect your roof and attic for any leak potential and get them fixed if need be. Spending a couple hundred dollars now could save you thousands in wall and roof repair later. If you find water has frozen in your gutters or drain spouts, remove the ice to prevent any damage or further buildup.
Check your fireplace
As we talked about in our fall prep tips blog, check your fireplace. Have a chimney sweep clean out the flue to remove ash and debris. A buildup of smoke residue and unburnt materials in your chimney could cause some smoke to flow back into your home, creating a health and fire hazard. In addition, make sure your flue is closed when you aren’t using it to keep warm air from escaping. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, remove the ash and residue from the bottom and start with a clean fireplace hearth.
Check doors and windows for a draft
Use your hand to feel for drafts of cold air around doors and windows. Place some caulk over the leaks to seal in the warm air. If there is a draft under an exterior door, replace the weather stripping or get a door insulator to put on the ground in front of the door. Many people in colder climates preplace their screen doors with storm doors to provide a barrier of air between the outside of the front & back doors and the inside
Have your heater and the air filter inspected to make sure they are in working order. If something is wrong, your heater may not work as effectively and will have to work harder to heat your home. Working overtime will cause it to break, leading to an expensive repair bill and no heat. The easiest thing to do is replace your air filter to help your HVAC system breathe easier and filter out the stuff you don't want to breathe in.