With November’s arrival, winter is practically knocking on our doorstep here in Nashville. With cold weather and snow on the horizon, it is important to get your home winter-ready. Not sure where to start? See our list of things to check on and fix before the cold of winter hits.
1. Give your exterior doors a quick inspection. According the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 35 percent of air leakage in a home can be blamed on gaps or cracks in doors, windows and fireplaces. Most of these gaps can be corrected easily and inexpensively with new weather stripping around the door edges.
2. Guard yourself against frozen pipes. If you don’t want to chance a frozen or burst pipe, we suggest wrapping your pipes that run through basements, garages and crawlspaces. Your neighborhood hardware stores should have a few options ranging from rubber sleeves to fiberglass insulation.
3. Heating System check up. It is always a good idea to have your heating system inspected and tuned up yearly. This will ensure that your system is working properly and can help extend the life of your system
4. Check that your Ducts are Insulated. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of its heated air before it even reaches the vents if ductwork is not well-connected and insulated. That can add up to be a huge amount of wasted money and a cold house. Repair places where pipes are pinched, which impedes flow of heated air to the house, and fix gaps with a metal-backed tape (duct tape actually doesn’t stand up to the job over time).
5. Reverse your fan blades. A tip that people often don’t think of, reversing blade direction from the summer operation will cause the fan to push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise for a winter-ready fan.
6. Clean those gutters. Use your hand or a scraper or spatula along with a good rinse to clean your gutters. Rain and melting snow will only make already-clogged gutters worse. Clogged drains can form ice dams in which water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into the house. Avoid this issue altogether by giving your gutters a good clean before winter’s arrival.