Be it a vacant home or an occupied one, getting your house geared for the winter is crucial to avoid the damage that extreme temperatures may inflict on it. This task is not an overnight one and may require a week or two, depending on how extensive the work cut out is. Before starting off, it is important to make a list of all the things that you’re planning to undertake. This will make it easier to form a checklist and work on the tasks in an organized manner, ensuring that nothing is left out.
Insulation is one of the crucial things you will need to carry out before winter. For the insulation of exterior outlets and switch plates, use an inexpensive foam sealing gasket. The hot water tank can be insulated using an insulating blanket available readily at hardware stores. For getting your fireplace in order, cut a piece of fiberglass insulation and then stuff it in the fireplace behind the glass doors–this will block the cold air descending from the chimney. Attic insulation will keep the heat inside the house and prevent the heat from leaving the house. Carefully check each designated attic insulation location and make sure it is properly fixed.
The heating and cooling systems is another factor which is instrumental in maintaining the temperature of the house. Make sure that your home heating system is in order with the help of the following –
- Furnace maintenance
- Thermostat checking
Check for the condition of the air filter, fuel in the furnace, heating vents, and carbon monoxide leaks. Hire a professional to do these things for you. Likewise, check for the old air conditioner as well–cover the condensing unit and make sure that it is free of debris. Check if the chimney is free of any debris and unwanted material as well, and check the chimney draft.
Using a rope caulk is the best way to seal the windows. Install storm doors and windows for blocking the cold draft and increasing the energy efficiency by as much as 45%. You can even choose to tape plastic on the windows. Installing weatherstripping on the doors in areas of leakage will be sufficient for the same.
Make sure that the exposed piping on the exterior section of the house is well protected and insulated. You can install a foam insulation for better protection. If possible, wrap these with electrical heating tape before insulating the same. This becomes important in case of crawlspace, attics, and outside walls–places where pipes are usually not insulated. For the exposed faucets, drain the water before insulating. Do not forget to disconnect the garden hoses and the like. Another thing you can do is add an anti freeze to the toilet tank, toilet bowl, and all the drains. You will also need to know about how to winterize a sprinkler system.
In addition to this, while winterizing a house, you can check all the heating and air conditioning ducts, and the basement waterproofing as well. Doing all these things will help make yours an energy efficient home as well keep your house warm.