Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Winterize the Interior of Your Home

We know, it’s that time of year again. Long gone are the 90 degree days and afternoons spent at the beach. So as we take our mittens out of storage and start our annual celebration of sweater weather, should we not guard our homes the same way we do our being? With another Nor’easter right around the corner, the time has come to prepare our homes for the upcoming season.

We have compiled this list of 4 Ways to Winterize Your Home’s Interior to aid you in this annual practice.

1. Prevent Heat Escaping and Cold Air Entering

Start by replacing all window screens with storm windows. You will then want to caulk both sides of the trim, so that cold air won’t be able to get through the cracks. For an extra layer of protection, buy a window isolation kit from your local hardware store.
The crack between a door and it’s frame is one of the major ways that cold air can enter your home, so don’t forget to place weatherstripping around those openings as an extra precaution. Also, remember to inspect your windows, walls and doors for cracks. The cold can enter your home through any opening, so you will want to seal all gaps, no matter how small.

2. Heating System Maintenance

Since it’s still somewhat warm out, now is a good time to hire a qualified professional to conduct your annual heating system inspection.
If you have forced hot air heating, make sure that your ducts are well insulated. To make air flow more effective, you should repair places where pipes are pinched and fix gaps with metal-backed tape. Dusty ducts can cause respiratory problems, so it is a good idea to vacuum your duct-work. Also, you will want to replace all of your old furnace filters with new ones and remember to change them monthly throughout the season. If you don’t already have one, now might be a good time to install a digital thermostat.

3. Prevent Freezing Pipes

In the winter, no one wants gallons of water spilling throughout their home. To prevent any possible plumbing freezes, you should make sure that all piping (especially in the basement, attic or garage) is properly insulated. If not, you can cover the pipes with commercial products. If your AC has a shut-off valve, you need to turn it off before the cold weather sets in. When the temperature is below freezing, it is critical that you leave the heat on to at least 55 degrees or your pipes may be susceptible to burst.

4. Protect Yourself

While you may not have to replace them (detectors last for up to 10 years), this is the perfect time to make sure that all of your smoke detectors are working smoothly. But don’t just press the button, test them with a small bit of smoke. In addition, it is recommended that you change the batteries.

Make sure that you have easy access to a fire extinguisher at all times. Also, it may also be a good idea to invest in a Carbon Monoxide detector. Although home emergencies can be devastating in any season, these obstacles are especially daunting in the wintertime.

Thesw steps to winterize the interior of your will help ensure the safety and durability of your household in the upcoming season. While we can never know the exact conditions that the weather may thrust upon us, we can at least do our part to prepare our homes for harsh circumstances.