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DIY Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

DIY August 30, 2018
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Lindsay Cutler

Prepare yourself, winter is coming. Even if you don’t live in an icy-cold climate, there are steps you can take to conserve energy and protect your home for the winter months. It might help to call a technician to take a look at your heating system, but many of these steps can easily be done on your own. Here are few ways to winterize your home.

Clean your gutters

Any debris left in your gutters could freeze and become trapped when a storm hits, or even when the temperature drops drastically. Regularly unclog your gutters to prevent ice dams which could lead to a leaking roof once the ice thaws. This goes for chimneys, too, which can become a potential fire hazard when blocked.

Run your fan in reverse

This is a lesser-known tip — simply run your fan in reverse to push warm air down instead of circulating cool air around the room as it would in clockwise motion. It seems like it wouldn’t make a significant difference, but trust us, this feature exists on fans for a reason.

Block drafts

If you notice cool (or even hot) air leaking into the room by the windows, seal it with caulk and insulation as necessary. Add fiberglass insulation (the warmest kind) to the attic and basement if you have them, and look into weatherstripping, draft guards, window insulation film, thermal window treatments, and even a chimney balloons!

Cover your pipes

Buy heat tape or insulation to give your pipes a little extra protection this winter. It can help prevent frozen pipes, pipe bursts and water damage in the long run. Also, open cabinet doors to let warmer air circulate under the kitchen or bathroom sink.

Replace your filters

A dirty furnace filter will impede hot air flow, so clean or change them regularly.

Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Homes are most at-risk for carbon monoxide leaks during the winter months when gas and heat are in heavy usage. Replace the batteries and test your detectors to keep loved ones safe.

Drain the air conditioner

Drain all the pipes and hoses in your AC unit as you won’t be using them in the coming months.

Bring in plants and patio furniture

Bring in any plants that aren’t cold-weather friendly (that’s most of them, actually) and don’t forget to put your outdoor furniture in storage during the winter months.

Set the thermostat

The most obvious way to keep your home at a steady temperature is to set a programmable thermostat. But if you implement all the other tips on this list, you’ll find won’t have to adjust it too frequently.

For more advice on winterizing your home, check out these tips from the Department and Energy. If you’re still looking for ways to protect your home and save money during the winter months, consider a home energy audit!

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