The furry friend in this photo has a much easier time that his humans in the winter preparations, but he is still appreciative!
The weather is cooling off and most of Idaho is seeing sub-freezing temperatures during the night. However, it’s not too late to winterize your home. Here are some tips to keep your home warm and dry, and to keep your energy bills down.
Some of these tips are similar to fall home preparation, but they are good issues to revisit before freezing temperatures become the norm.
Get Your Sprinklers Blown Out
Freezing water in the sprinkler lines will cause them to break, leaving you with puddles in your yard and a large repair bill in the spring. Get them blown out by a sprinkler repair company and save a ton of money later. Most neighborhoods with HOAs will give residents notice in the fall. If you don’t have and HOA to remind you, getting them blown out by early to mid-October is a good benchmark.
Drain Exterior Faucets
Remove and drain your hoses from exterior spigots and make sure water is out of the faucet. You may also consider wrapping the spigot and/or exposed piping with insulation sleeves to prevent freezing and broken pipes. 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.
Inspect Your Roof
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 an 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.
Check Your Fireplace
Just like 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 gunk 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.
Check Doors and Windows for Drafts
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.
Heater Tune Up
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 or 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.
Courtesy of Build Idaho, Keller Williams Realty Boise
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