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Winterize Your Home in 5 Easy Steps

by Daniel Estevao on January 10, 2016

As a homeowner, you probably know that there are certain things you need to do to winterize your home. It’s important that you get these tasks completed before the onset of ice and snow. Still, it doesn’t really matter when you complete these winterization chores, as long as you actually do them. Even in the middle of winter, you can slash energy bills and save money by taking on these necessary winter home maintenance tasks.

winterize your home in 5 easy steps

Are the outside faucets properly insulated? Good. Now let’s explore a few other winterizing essentials that can help you save money on your electric bill – and keep your home from potential (and often costly) damage.

Winterize Your Home in 5 Easy Steps

1.  Clean Rain Gutters

clean gutters and debrisSource: Home Advisor

This should be a no-brainer, but most people don’t associate cleaning their rain gutters with basic winter-proofing. A clean rain gutter can help prevent the build-up of ice on your roof. The faster freezing water can drain away from the roof, the less likely it is to refreeze and create ice dams. Ice dams are accumulations of ice that form barriers at the edges of a roof. They keep water from properly draining, which in turn causes leaks that can infiltrate your entire home. If your gutter doesn’t have a leaf guard, you will want to make sure you continue to revisit it until all the leaves have fallen from the surrounding trees.

2.  Replace the Furnace Filter

Replace Furnace FilterSource: T.Dallas (bigstock)

No one thinks twice about their central heat and air until something goes wrong. But it’s always a good idea to be proactive when it comes to extreme temperatures and your family’s health and comfort. Before you turn on the furnace this year, check the filter. If it appears dirty, simply replace it. Ensuring that your filter is clean not only helps your furnace run more efficiently, but it will also help you save money on your heating bill. This is the easiest tip on the list, so what are you waiting for?

Watch the video below to learn how to replace your furnace filter:

3.  Add Insulation

attic insulationSource: oocoskun (bigstock)

Adding insulation to your attic will help you save energy year-round. It is also a relatively simple project that you can do on your own. Adding extra insulation will keep your home warmer throughout the winter and will ensure the heater comes on less frequently. If you are unsure whether you have enough insulation, take a look at the floor joists in the attic. If the insulation is level or below the floor joists you should be able to add more. If you are unable to see the joists through the insulation, then adding more may not be cost-effective. The U.S. Department of Energy has a handy Insulation Fact Sheet that can help you figure out the most economic insulation level for your home.

For more a full guide on sealing and insulating your home from Energy Star, download the DIY Guide.

4.  Check for Leaks/Drafts

air sealing and insulation

Is your house a bit drafty? When the wind blows can you feel a chill by the window? Are there switch plates, doors or cracks that release cold air? If you can feel the cold coming inside, then warm air is leaking outside. Caulking cracks, weather-stripping windows and using spray foam insulation around small openings in the house can go a long way in helping your home retain heat – and also lower your electric bill.

For more a full guide on sealing and insulating your home from Energy Star, download the DIY Guide.

5.  Trim Your Trees

Tree TrimmerSource: Home Advisor

Does your yard have a few tall trees? Perhaps more than a few? Then you have probably experienced a winter or two where tree debris has caused some damage. It’s always a good idea to have your trees trimmed before the inclement winter weather arrives. Winter storms, especially severe ice storms, can cause weak tree limbs to break – and exacerbate cracks in trunks.  Heavy, frozen limbs (and sometimes entire trees) can knock out power lines, crush vehicles and even destroy homes. Have a professional tree service perform a thorough trimming – before an ice storm does one for you.

Addendum

Winterizing your home makes sense for a myriad of reasons. The money you save being more energy-efficient is certainly a compelling one, but the peace of mind that you’ll have knowing your home is a safer and more secure place for you and your family is invaluable.

More Home Winterization Tips

Call Pacific Air Systems Heating & Cooling at 253.292.3995 for 24/7 HVAC and Indoor Air Quality service!

Since 1984, we’ve been proudly serving our communities in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

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