Winter is finally on its way out as it makes room for spring. As I do every year, I’m working hard to resist the urge to spring clean every day. I also find myself reflecting back on the homeowner duties I neglected to follow through on this winter, such as winterizing the house. Spring cleaning is easy. Winterizing, on the other hand, takes some research and a little help from HVAC pros. If you are like me and you totally skipped over it, here are five things that you should have done to winterize your house.
Seal the Windows
Heat can easily escape from your windows through small cracks. Waterproof caulking or weather-stripping can keep the heat from escaping. With a little more effort, you can install a window insulator kit or invite the pros out to install new storm windows, which are the most effective choice. Storm windows can reduce heat loss by 25 to 50 percent.
Prepare the Furnace
There are two very easy things that you can do to keep your furnace functioning properly during the winter months. Change the furnace filter and vacuum around it to remove excess dust. You should change your furnace filter every three months, and you can vacuum the area on the same schedule. If you have an oil furnace, than you’ll need a special vacuum. Otherwise, there’s nothing special needed.
Schedule a Tuneup for Your Furnace
Image via Flickr by brtinney
Think of your furnace the same way you think of your health. It requires regular checkups and maintenance. Brand new furnaces aren’t cheap. A little bit of prevention can go a long way to extend the life of your furnace and keep it from breaking down in the middle of the cold winter. Check out this list of common furnace issues that can arise during the winter months.
Clean and Service Your Air Conditioner
You might not need to use your air conditioner during the winter, but this is the right time to protect it from the cold. You wouldn’t want to wait until spring arrives before realizing that your air conditioner has fallen victim to the winter weather. Clear off any debris on the exterior unit, and then call your HVAC professional for a thorough inspection.
Drain and Protect Your Outdoor Faucets
You should always drain outdoor faucets prior to the first freeze to prevent damage. As you know, water expands when it freezes, which can cause big problems for your pipes. Be sure to shut off the water to any outdoor faucets, remove the hoses, and attach a protective cover that you can find at your local hardware store. Learn additional tips and tricks to winterize your outside faucets here.
While winterizing your home can sound like a daunting task, it’s made up of small preventative measures that could end up saving you a lot of money and many headaches. In addition, much of it can be done by a company that you trust. Don’t let these easy measures slip by you next winter!
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