New England winters can be harsh, especially on your home. You wouldn’t go out into the icy cold without first putting on your winter coat, hat and gloves. It is just as important to get your existing or new home ready before the snow begins to fall. Winterizing will save you time and money in the long run. Eliminating ways for heat to escape and damage to occur under the weight of heavy snow and ice.
Take a walk around your home looking for ways the heat can leak out and the cold can sneak in. Look for loose siding panels or shakes. It doesn’t take much for your electricity or gas bill to skyrocket. Harbor Classic Homes can recommend the best siding options for fewer leak opportunities.
Be sure to disconnect garden hoses, shut off the valve and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. When that water freezes, it expands and will crack your pipes, leading to expensive repairs and loss of water through leaks and drips. Wrap exposed pipes with insulating material to protect them.
Have your roof checked for cracked and missing shingles or panels. Hot air rises, so you don’t want it to have a way to escape through the roof. Melting snow and hail from the past year could have done some damage to your home, leaving it susceptible.
Clean your gutters so that snow and ice don’t clog the gutter and back things up. Water damage can create a costly repair bill, and the weight of it could break the gutter system or soffit and fascia in the eaves.
Have a technician come out before winter settles in to clean your furnace, replace filters, clean heating ducts of dust and buildup, and bleed radiators so that your heating system is functioning correctly when you need it. Finding out early one morning or in the middle of the night when record low temperatures have hit, that your heating system isn’t working up to par is no fun. Brrrr! And don’t forget to fuel up. An empty tank won’t do your fully functioning heating system any good.
Gaps around doors and windows are another sneaky way for warm air to escape and cold air to get in. Put storm windows up, remove and store screens before Thanksgiving. Replace old, drafty windows with new, energy-efficient windows.
If you have a chimney, you’ll want to make sure it has been checked – both inside and out. You’ll want to have the inside cleaned and the outside checked for cracks or leaks that could cause bricks to fall down the chimney, blocking the flue, along with debris and bird nests that might have been built during the summer months. Blockages are dangerous and can cause fire or smoke to back up into the house. Ensure that your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order before lighting any fires. Oh yeah, don’t forget to stock up on firewood and kindling. Be sure to keep them in a dry place, so all you have to do is add a log to the fireplace when cooler weather sets in for a long winter.
Winterizing your home is important. Harbor Classic Homes can help you identify problem areas in your existing home to prevent heat loss and damage before it happens.