5 Tips For Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your home should be an annual routine, but is especially important if you are considering selling in the new year. You want your home to be as satisfactory as possible by the time everything thaws out. Remember, as Benjamin Franklin said, ‚Äúan ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure‚Äù. It is much easier to take care of the little things around the house right now than deal with a serious problem in the spring. Here are 5 things to get prepared for this winter.
1) Get a Free Energy Assessment
It‚Äôs hard to know the most efficient way to improve your energy bill. Fortunately, Puget Sound Energy offers a free energy assessment to any and all of their customers. This energy assessment can even include free installation of LED lightbulbs, high-performance shower heads and water conserving kitchen and bathroom aerators. For scheduling, check out their site here.
2) Check your Thermostat
Do you still have an old, un-programmable thermostat in your home? If so, it might be the time to make the switch to a new, smart thermostat. Thermostats have decreased in price dramatically, and now offer a lot of great technology, and can even be controlled through your smartphone. An upgrade right now would ensure that you don‚Äôt waste money heating your home when you aren‚Äôt even there.
3) Protect your Pipes and Plants
Both pipes and plants are very vulnerable to the freeze of winter here in the Pacific Northwest, and it‚Äôs crucial that you keep them both warm. For pipes, make sure they are properly insulated and that spigots are covered. For plants, you can cover them with plastic, but just make sure the leaves don‚Äôt touch. Another idea is covering them with a Styrofoam cooler or cardboard box stuffed with leaves or straw to keep them warm and cozy this winter.
4) Keep the Cold Out
Most heat loss comes from out of the attic, so making sure your insulation up there is adequate could save you serious money in the long run. You‚Äôll also want to check the seals of your windows, as well as weatherstripping all of the doors to the outside. Keeping all of these seals secure will keep your home draft free and make sure all that heat stays inside.
5) Check your Fireplace
Before you use your fireplace is the time to check it. Soot buildup is normal and an annual cleaning should always be scheduled before your first fire. Also be sure that there are no animal nests or creosote buildup before you start a fire. The best way to be confident that your chimney is ready is to have a professional out to make sure everything is all good.