Home Winterizing Tips

home-winterizing-tipsWinterizing your home against the cold weather can save you money on energy bills, as well as add to your comfort this winter. Here are some tips to preparing this year.

Inspect Your HVAC System

You will want to get an annual inspection on your heating system to ensure that it is operating efficiently and safely. Your HVAC specialist will tune up your system, look for cracks or leaks that could be leaching deadly carbon monoxide, and clean ducts. Do a visual inspection yourself to ensure that no flammable materials are located near your heating unit.

Change Filters

This is a good time of year to replace your air filters on the HVAC system. Change them monthly for peak efficiency.

Lower the Thermostat

Keeping the temperatures lower can help save on your heating bills. Think about installing a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust temperatures for nighttime or times when you are not at home. If you leave the home for an extended period, leave the heat on, set at around 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing.

Clean Your Chimney + Check Detectors

Engage a chimney sweep to clean out dangerous creosote from your chimney or woodstove. Check the mortar and cap the chimney top to keep leaves and animals from entering. Ensure that the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are fresh and that the systems are working properly.

Clear Gutters

Clogged gutters are a leading cause for ice dams, which can create water leakage into your home’s exterior. Clear out debris and flush the gutters and downspouts with a hose. While you’re on the ladder, check shingles and flashing for possible damage. Tighten gutters and install leaf guards to help prevent them from becoming clogged.

Seal Windows and Doors

Add insulating weatherstripping around doors to prevent drafts and heat loss, and check seals on windows as well. Caulk leaks if necessary. Switch out summer screens for storm doors and windows.

Winterize Outdoor Plumbing

Winterizing means draining and disconnecting hoses to store them inside for winter. Turn off outside spigots if possible. Insulate exposed piping and pipes in crawl spaces.

Prepare Outdoors

Clean and put into storage outdoor furniture and warm-weather decorations and toys. Drain and cover the swimming pool to winterize it. Bag leaves and pine needles and trim branches that might impact a power line if winter ice and snow cause them to break. Replace burned-out lightbulbs.

Prep for an Emergency

With winter storms, power outages are common. Check your store of candles and matches, water and non-perishable foods (including pet food). Invest in a generator and learn how to use it before you have to. Stock up on firewood and other heating fuels.

Trust Först Consulting Group’s Homeowner Services

At Först Consulting Group, we want to ensure that you enjoy your home no matter what the season. We offer a variety of homeowner services including vacation estate management for those living in the Northern Virginia area to maintain your property while you’re away for an extended period. If something did happen, like a burst pipe or heating system malfunction, we’ll catch it and alert you to the problem before it causes major damage to your home. With your authorization, we can even remediate the problem on your behalf using our vetted professional contractors.

Please review the entire scope of services Först Consulting Group offers, including construction advocate, testing and inspection, litigation support and expert witness testimony. We’re here on your side when you need us. Contact Först Consulting Group today.

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