Old man winter is just around the corner as we write this article. Below are ways you can keep your home warm and prevent damage to your home by the cold.
-Clean your gutters. Gutters that are full of leaves do not drain and can contribute to ice damning and resulting water penetration into the house through the roof.
-If you have had ice damning the past, consider adding insulation in the attic or having a heat cable installed on the roof edges and in the gutters.
-Drain your outside spigots. Disconnect your hoses from the spigots and store them for the winter.
-Test your sump pump to make sure it works.
-Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Many are factory set at 140 degrees and this simple change can save 7-10% of the energy the hot water heater uses.
-On very cold nights open the doors to cabinets containing water pipes, especially if the water pipes are on an outside wall. Turning the hot water on so that it trickles is also a good preventative measure.
-Caulk gaps between window and doors and your home’s siding.
-Have your heating system tuned up now, not when it is 10 below zero when you will be the 100th person in line for the HVAC company.
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan, especially in rooms with high ceilings. This will push the warm air at the ceiling down into the room.
Check your roof (with binoculars) for loose or missing shingles.
If your gutters do not drain into a underground system, add extensions to the downspouts so that the water runs at least 4-5’ from the foundation.
Have your chimney inspected by a professional.