BOULDER – Even though we have yet to have our first snow or hard freeze it is still not too early to think about winterizing your home. Doing some of these simple things may also remove some items from a home inspectors report should you decide to put your home on the market. At the very least it could save you some money. The list includes but is not limited to:
Trim your trees. When tree branches are weighed down with snow they can cause significant damage. Are there any limbs that could possibly knock out power to your home or limbs that could hit your home or car if they broke off during a winter snow storm? Will limbs rub on your roof or siding when they have a snow load?
Check your doors and windows for leaks. Walk around your home on a chilly night and, using bare hands and feet, feel around your doors, windows, lights, and switch plates for cold air. You will need to either add insulation to these areas, or seal them using weather-stripping, caulk, or spray foam.
Clean your gutters. Clean gutters can help prevent the build-up of ice on your roof. The faster that water can drain away, the less likely it is to melt and then refreeze on your roof or under your shingles. In addition, clean gutters reduce the risk of infestation and decrease the risk of mold in your home.
Have your ceiling fans push warm air down from the ceiling. It is common practice to use ceiling fans in summer months but they can help out in the winter as well. Have your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air from the ceiling towards the floor. If they’re going counterclockwise, they won’t be as effective.
Change your furnace filter. Before you start running your furnace, change the filter. In winter months, change the filter every 4 to 6 weeks. Having a clean filter helps your furnace run more efficiently, which can save you energy and money.
Install a programmable thermostat. The US Department of Energy reports that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature during winter months. Installing a programmable thermostat can save you money by keeping the temperature down when you’re not at home or asleep.
Flush your water heater. Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit’s efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best.
Taking care of these simple tasks can help you reduce the number of items on a home inspectors list, prevent damage to your home and save money on utility bills. Prepare for winter now, and you’ll be glad you did when cold weather arrives.