Getting Your Home Ready for Old Man Winter
Winter Home Tips in metro Atlanta, GA area
As the chill enters the air, the last leaves slowly fall from the trees and you pull that jacket out of the closet, remember that it’s time to get your home ready for winter as well. There are a couple of easy steps to take to ensure that your home is ready for the dropping temperatures.
The first step is to make sure that you turn off the water to outdoor faucets and install a thermal cover over your the faucets. The outdoor faucets have a shut off valve that is usually either a turn valve or a ball valve that you close to shut off the flow of water to them.
The shut off valve should be located just inside your basement wall or foundation wall just behind the outdoor faucet. If you have the turn type valve similar the black handled valve in the photo above, you turn the valve wheel in the clockwise direction until it stops (righty tighty, lefty loosey). If you have a ball valve similar to the red handled valve in the photo above you simply turn the valve handle until it is perpendicular to the water line. The ball valve in this picture above is in the off position.
After shutting off the water to each of your outdoor faucets, install a thermal barrier to protect the water line from freezing temperatures. These barriers can be found at any home improvement store. There are several different designs to choose from. Follow the instructions that come with the thermal barrier making sure the barrier is snug against the wall of your home.
After the all the outdoor water spigots are readied, now take a look at the caulking around the outside of your house. Inspect around all your exterior doors and windows and make sure the caulking fills all of the gaps.
Caulking that is in good shape should look like the picture to the left.
Caulking that looks really old, cracking or missing parts will look like the picture below to the right. This type should be re-caulked.
After you get all the caulking fresh and ready for winter, you then need to check the weather stripping around your doors and windows. Just like the caulk inspection, you are looking for old cracking or missing pieces of weather-stripping. Take a small sample of the weather stripping with you to the home improvement store and purchase a weather stripping that matches what you currently have. There are many different types of weather stripping and having an example of what you are looking for will help you when choosing the new stripping.
The last item on your winter prep checklist is to make sure your foundation vents are closed. If your foundation vents are unsightly or broken so that you cannot close them, you can replace your vents easily with an automatic vent like the one pictured below.
These vents have thermal springs on them that will automatically close as the outdoor thermometer falls.
All of these items can be easily completed in 1-2 days and they are very important to stop that bitter cold outdoor air from sneaking in. Stopping the cold air from infiltrating your home can make a big difference in your energy consumption during the winter months. These simple home repairs very quickly pay for themselves in energy savings and they offer the added bonus of helping to stop insects and rodents from seeking shelter from the cold in your home!
All of these winter preparation items are necessary to take the load off of your home’s heating system. You need to make sure you get your home ready for winter so that your furnace can keep you warm during the cold temperatures. A well-maintained furnace performs at higher efficiency, providing more dependable and longer lasting service. Call to schedule your appointment.