Prepare Homes For Frosty Days
Winter in the US this year will not be extremely cold, but it will be uncommonly snowy in most areas that receive snow, and colder than normal in Maine, Intermountain Desert Southwest, and Pacific Southwest, among other regions. Even if you’re not living along extreme weather belts, it pays to get your home ready for winter and keep your dwelling in a good shape, protecting your asset and investment. From checking your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to sealing air leaks around the house, winterizing your structure ensures that you have a cozy and warm abode once the cold sets in.
Check Your HVAC And Furnace
Your HVAC provides central heating to your home, and in winter, you don’t want it to break down when temperatures are falling. A cold house can cause hypothermia and a malfunctioning system can impact your hot water supply if it is connected to the heating system. Hence, it’s a great idea to inspect your HVAC before winter sets in. Ask a professional contractor to service the system, clean the boilers, change the filters, and change the vents, if needed.
Often, an HVAC system breaks down or does not function properly due to accumulated dirt and dust in the filters. Hence, experts at Filter King (www.filterking.com) recommend changing filters every month and keeping a stock of spares in the correct sizes as replacements. Clean filters and vents are vital in maintaining good airflow and indoor air quality.
Test Your Furnace
Even if your furnace and HVAC systems were already maintained and serviced in preparation for the cold months ahead, it’s a good idea to fire them up and heat the entire house. Set the thermostat to your desired levels, and let the system reach the temperature before switching it off or lowering the temperature. Do this at least two to three times before winter officially sets in to ensure that the furnace operates as expected.
Sweep Your Chimney
If you have a fireplace, you should also clean and inspect it before building a fire. Do a chimney sweep to make sure that it is safe to use. Check for damages and other possible issues such as cracks in the chimney lining or loose bricks. Make sure that it is attached securely to the house and there is no water damage. Inspect the damper and see to it that it works properly before using your fireplace. Don’t forget to cap the chimney to keep birds, squirrels, leaves, and other debris from entering. If the cap is damaged, replace or repair it before making a fire. It’s also time to think of stocking up on firewood and stack it in a good location in your yard.
Repair Infiltration Points
Windows, doors, and cracks on walls are some points where cold or heat can enter. Verify if weather strips on all infiltration points are in place, and replace those that are worn out. A well-insulated home saves heat and energy. If you have the budget, hire a professional to inspect your attic, walls, and floors to see if there are air leaks, and improve or replace what is necessary.
A home or building structure that is equipped with a functioning heating system is essential during winter. Maintaining systems, sealing air leaks, testing furnaces and cleaning chimneys are some preparation activities that must be done before the freezing cold arrives.