Winter, depending on how you look at it, is either one of the best or worst seasons of the year. Even if you happen to live in a place where it doesn’t snow or hail freezing rain, the chances are more likely than not that the sun disappears and cold conditions prevail. Cloudy days and impacted travel conditions aren’t fun to deal with and can bring many people down, but they’re not impossible situations if you simply take a little time to prepare.
Getting your home ready for winter means taking a holistic approach to the systems of your home and making sure they’re all in working order. These are not jobs that you want to DIY, you’ll want to hire and consult with qualified professionals in order to keep the cold out. By keeping your home at a stable temperature, avoiding leaks, and keeping out unwanted critters, you’ll prevent a lot of common damage that ails properties in the winter months. These are truly winter saving tips worth knowing and remembering in order to protect your loved ones and your property.
In this article, we’ll go over how to properly “winterize” your home so that the dreary days of November and December roll leisurely on into spring. With the proper preparations, before you know it you’ll be seeing the sun again and greeting flowers outside. You’ll also have the peace of mind that you’ve upgraded your home in a practical way by allowing professionals to practice their craft in peace on your humble abode. By investing in yourself through your home, you’ll soon be on your way out of winter and into a warmer state of mind.
Keep The Snow Falling On Your Roof (But Not Inside)
One of the easiest winter saving tips to remember is also a bit comical: rain and snow should fall on a roof, not through it. Water is consistently the enemy of homes in a variety of ways, causing decay and rot at an exponential rate if allowed to seep into the various nooks and crannies of a property. For this reason, it’s imperative that you practice good roof maintenance and consult a qualified roofing expert to either replace or maintain your home’s roof.
Depending on where you live, experts tend to recommend a roof inspection/maintenance at least every 10 years. If you visibly see damage or it’s been over 20 years since your roof was serviced, you should consider a replacement. Depending on what your roof is made out of, you may go longer or shorter within the recommended time period before you have a problem, but it never hurts to get a checkup. Your home’s roof is like clothing: it protects your home from the elements and is the first line of defense toward anything harming the sensitive areas.
When you have your roof looked at, it may also be the time to re-evaluate the heating technology in your home such as the chimney or any heat pumps you have installed. Technology changes all the time, and what may have worked years ago may now be obsolete or contributing to your home being colder than normal. Consulting an expert on how to best utilize these existing technologies and keep your roof stable will be well worth your time in the long run.
When Things Get Too Cozy: Keeping Critters Out Of Your Winter Abode
If your roof is on tight, that’s one place where the cold and other unwelcome visitors won’t get in. But what about the various other cracks, crawl spaces, and hidden areas of your home where animals and insects might seek refuge from the cold? You just can’t be too sure, and one of the most practical winter saving tips is to hire an exterminator services company to find out whether you’re susceptible to hosting unwanted guests in your home during the cold season.
Mice, cockroaches, rats, and other critters are just like humans in that they want to avoid unpleasant environmental conditions in favor of better ones. Therefore, by you making your home all warm and cozy you are unintentionally inviting them in to stay whether you like it or not. While an exterminator can help you prevent and get rid of some of these pests, you may also have to practice preventative maintenance by having traps installed or common entryways sprayed with a deterrent chemical to make these areas less attractive.
Closed-off places (such as the attic, garage, and closets) tend to be a safe haven for unwanted animals. Some are protected by locking doors, but others like the attic usually have spring-shut doors that rely on their own weight and mechanisms to close. If you have broken springs on your garage door or on some of your closets, replacing them will make all the difference in preventing new guests from riding out the winter in your space.
Keep (Hot) Air Circulating For Maximum Comfort
In winter, the name of the game is keeping the temperature stable and relatively warm. If you read lists of winter saving tips elsewhere, they will give all sorts of arbitrary temperatures that you should keep your home at. But really, at the end of the day, it’s what is comfortable to you that decides on the exact temperature. As long as it is above freezing, you will avoid water issues, but you also probably don’t want your home to become a personal sauna drenched in sweat. Therefore, it’s important to keep air circulating and heated.
HVAC services encompass a wide spectrum of work that you might want done on your home. Anything from getting your air conditioner and heater fixed to installing elaborate heat pump systems throughout your home or around sensitive areas such as water pipes. It’s important that non-freezing air is able to circulate adequately around your home so that there is no part that fails to be properly heated. This is one of the most basic winter saving tips you can indulge in.
A heating technician is the person you’ll want to call in order to solve the issue of keeping your home’s temperature stable and constant. Especially in the living areas, because it’s where you’ll spend the majority of your time thinking about sunnier days and getting over any winter blues you might have. The technician will also be a good sounding board to find any other winter saving tips you might be looking for, along with explaining new technology for winter-proofing your home from an HVAC perspective.
Don’t Let Water Become A Hassle (Or An Ice Cube)
One of the most important winter saving tips you can remember is that water should stay outside the home (as snow or ice) and never gather outside of designated pipes. To say that you’ll need to consult a residential plumbing expert (especially one versed in winter-proofing a home) may be an understatement. If you’ve never gotten a comprehensive look at the pipes and how water enters your home, you’ll want to see a blueprint of it done by an expert. Keeping this water above freezing temperatures is critical for not experiencing leaks, damage, or other headaches down the road.
If you live in a rural area and have your own well, you’ll want to ensure that you continue to receive well water service during the winter months and that nothing is obstructed. Since well water is deep in the ground where temperatures may be colder than inside your home, you’ll want to consult with a plumber with well water experience to make sure you’re protected even if things turn disastrous outside. This can be a helpful bonus if it’s been a while since you serviced your well, as you can also get a water quality report and ask about newer methods of purifying your well water or making it taste better. You can truly fix two problems in one meeting, making it one of the more practical winter saving tips.
One of the more practical winter saving tips that people often forget to heed is to make sure their hot water heater is in good working order. Having a hot water heater circulate water or be available on-demand can be a lifesaver in many situations, so if yours needs to be repaired or replaced you should do it immediately before it’s too late. Plus, there’s nothing that puts a pep in your step like a hot bath on a cold winter day.
Insulation, Insulation, Insulation
Making capital improvements to your property isn’t just a smart idea, it actually fits in nicely with winter saving tips if you can fit different puzzle pieces together. Insulation in homes serves one main purpose: to keep the inside environment stable and separate from the outside environment. In the summer this means cool inside, hot outside, whereas in the winter it is reversed. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at your home’s insulation, or if you live in an older home with inadequate insulation, that’s definitely something you’ll want to look at.
An excellent addition to the list of winter savings tips is to hire a specialized contractor to look at the current state of insulation in your walls, attic, and other critical areas of your house. Every so often there are different materials used in a variety of ways to make homes more efficient in the insulation department, and often homes are lacking in insulation in certain areas. Whether this is because the home was built improperly or simply glazed over during another time period is anybody’s guess, but it is worth taking a look at.
Insulating certain rooms more than others (such as the master bedroom) might also be a concern that you can have an expert look into. You might not care too much if your basement is in the low 40s at night, but you certainly wouldn’t want to sleep in that. If you can tolerate lower temperatures during the day in your house, but want a snug room to sleep in at night, that can be arranged by someone who is experienced in that area. Seek out qualified professionals online and be specific in mentioning what you’re trying to achieve with insulating your home.
Seal All Doors So The Cold Stays Out
The easiest way to keep the cold winter air out of your home is to simply never let it inside in the first place. By this, we mean trying to identify and seal all the cracks in your home where outside air can infiltrate the warm abode you’ve tried to create. This means the front door, windows, places where the home foundation meets earth, and any other open gaps are all perfect places to try to make impenetrable so that the heat stays in instead of flowing out into the world. After all, you’re not trying to raise the temperature of the area surrounding your home.
When dwelling on winter saving tips from various sources, people tend to forget that their garage door is connected to their home and is a potential source of letting in the cold. If your garage door hardware is old, outdated, or falling prey to rust, it might be time to think about getting a team of contractors out there to repair it. Having an outdated garage door might also become a problem when it malfunctions due to freezing weather getting in the joints, making components stop working, and more.
If you managed to get your garage door repair ticket in order, then you’re well ahead of most homeowners. Keeping your garage as a sealed space in which to store your vehicles, possessions, or use as another room is one of the winter savings tips that most people never utilize. On top of being a smart cookie, you’ll increase your home’s value to potential buyers down the line by making capital improvements such as this.
Enjoy Watching The Snow Fall And Cold Winds Blow
If you’ve managed to get this far in the article, then we sincerely hope you’ve gotten some winter saving tips that will both protect your house and not drain your wallet. You should have all the work done on your house done by qualified professionals instead of trying to do it yourself so that you know it’s done to certain standards and eligible to be looked at should something go wrong. This is the best guarantee you can have against something going unexpected or breaking when you need it most, which you do not have when you DIY a household job.
But perhaps the best winter saving tip we can give is on entertainment and peace. Watching the snow fall outside, or listening to the gusts of wind while you’re in a nice warm house is one of the most interesting joys in life. While friends may be hesitant to travel to your residence because of the weather, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on trying to attract them to your warm abode in a variety of ways. From hosting game nights (with hot drinks, of course) to building fires, we’re sure that you’ll come up with enough ways to beat the winter blues while also remaining sane until the sun comes back.