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Winterizing Your Home
Preparing your home for the winter is essential. Aside from living comfortably during the harsh temperature, winterizing would also help in extending the life of your home and avoid problems in the future.
Preparing your home for the winter can be done by professional plumber, electrician or contractor. However, there are also other things that you could do on your own. How do you prepare your home for the winter? Here are some things that you could keep in mind.
• Check and clean you gutters. Remove the leaves, twigs and other branches that may be blocking your gutter. You could clean them by hand or by a scraper. This can clog the drains which would later cause the water to back up and freeze in the gutter. This would eventually seep into the walls of the house. Make sure that your gutters do not have cracks and the pipes are properly aligned.
• Work on those cracks and leaks. Look for those leaks and cracks in your home and block them. According to the EarthWorks Group, an average American would have leaks that amount to a nine-square-feet hole in the wall. Cold air could slip inside your home and hot air to escape. This would add up to bigger fuel cost.
• Turn on your furnace to check if it is working even if the coldest weather has not yet arrived. Furnaces should be cleaned and maintained once a year. You could get a professional to check the furnace. Change the filters monthly since dirty filters could cause fire.
• Check your air ducts. If the duct work is not properly connected, about 60 % of heated air is lost, meaning a lot of energy is consumed without even benefiting the residents.
• Changing windows could be expensive, but it would surely help in the providing protection and warmth. Aside from storm windows, there are also the window insulator kits. These kits however, are not too attractive to look at and only temporary, but they are definitely inexpensive. You would just have to affix it into the interior side of the window.
• Avoid pipes bursting. Make sure that water hose, pipe lines are drained and turned off. Insulate your pipelines, you could wrap them with foam rubber or with heating tape.
• Aside from insulating your pipes, you should also check the insulation in the attic. The recommended thickness for attic insulation would be about 12 inches. Also check the basement and the exterior walls if they are properly insulated.
• It is important to have you chimneys, fireplaces and woodstoves cleaned. They may have accumulated debris and soot over the time is was not used which can cause some problems once you started using them again. For chimneys, it is better to seal or cover them with chimney caps and screens to keep out birds and rodents.
Inspecting and winterizing your home would not only help you against the winter ahead, but it would also help you reduce on your fuel costs. Unchecked and non properly maintained parts of your home could cause safety issues and the same tine increase your maintaining cost.
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