If you are reading this, you probably already know how harsh winters up here can be. The cold, snow, and ice can do a number on your home, and even present safety issues, if you don’t take the appropriate steps when winterizing your New England home.
Here are five tips to winterize your home in New England and prevent damage from occurring no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
Five Tips to Keep Your Home Warm and Safe This Winter
Keep the Cold Out
Cold air can make your home feel uncomfortable and cause your heating bill to skyrocket. You can prevent the cold from entering (and the heat from escaping) with some simple weatherproofing. Here are some steps to take:
- Install a storm door.
- Update old windows with storm windows.
- Use door draft stoppers.
- Use weatherstripping and caulk to seal drafty spots around doors and windows.
- Insulate around A/C window units if you are unable to take them out for the winter.
Have Your Fireplace Checked
Nothing is better than a warm, crackling fire on a freezing cold day. But make sure your fireplace is checked by a professional prior to lighting your first fire. Things like accumulating creosote and animal nests can cause restricted airflow and a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide in your house.
Insulate Pipes to Prevent Bursting
No one wants to deal with icy cold water spewing from a busted pipe in the middle of winter. To keep this from happening, make note of the pipes that are continuously exposed to the extreme cold, like those on the outside of your home and even in unheated basements, attics, garages, crawl spaces, and the like.
Apply insulation to both the pipes and the areas around them to prevent water from freezing, expanding, and bursting a pipe.
Also, be sure to turn the water off to your outdoor water spigots, like the one your hose is attached to.
When it’s extremely cold, turn on the water coming from exposed pipes just enough so it drips. This movement will help keep water from freezing inside the pipe.
Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a great way to be energy efficient. They also allow you to adjust your home’s temperature even while you aren’t there. If you will be leaving home for an extended period of time, be sure to keep your home no cooler than about 55 degrees, or slightly higher depending on how well insulated it is to avoid freezing pipes.
Check Your Roof and Gutters
Your gutters and downspouts should be clear of debris. Clogged gutters can lead to icicle buildup and even ice dams, which can ultimately warp or crack your gutters.
Also, make sure your gutters are at the right angle so water is draining efficiently away from the home. Water and ice buildup around your foundation can cause leaking and a number of other problems.
Purchase a roof rake to clear snow from your gutters following a heavy snow to prevent buildup.
Some gutter companies also recommend sprinkling sodium chloride in your gutters if you see icicles forming to help melt them away before they get too big.
Hopefully these basic steps will help you stay cozy and headache-free this winter! If you need help with storm door insulation, storm window insulation, or other home modifications, we are here to help!
We’ve been proudly serving northeast Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire for over 40 years. Contact us today for a free quote!