Though North and South Carolina can sometimes be confused when it comes to winter weather (looking at you, 75 degree Christmas of 2015), it is important to winterize your home. In reality, the harsh winter temperatures, as temporary as they may be, can wreak havoc on your property. There are few things you can do to prevent unexpected expenses and major headaches.
When exactly should you winterize your home?
Good question. It’s important to pay attention to weather patterns, as unpredictable as they can be in North and South Carolina. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you’ve winterized your property before the first snow or ice storm. That typically means mid-November to early-December.
How to Winterize Outdoors
- Clean your gutters. Clogged up gutters can make for big-time problems. Clogged gutters collect rainwater instead of properly filtering it away from your property. When that collected rainwater freezes, you’ll have a major headache on your hands.
- Winterize your irrigation system. You can read up on how to do that here.
- Check your siding for gaps and cracks. If you find any, fill them with caulk to help keep your home well insulated.
- Make sure your air conditioning compressor is prepared. The compressor is that big unit that sits outside your home. To prepare it for the cold weather, remove sticks, leaves, and debris. You can even purchase an AC cover to place over it for extra protection.
- Check your property for potential problematic tree limbs. It’s no secret that when snow and ice weigh problematic limbs down they can cause a whole mess of issues. To protect your home and vehicles from falling limbs, identify any potential problems and trim them up. This may be a job for the professionals.
- Drain & detach your hose from the hose bib. Water tends to sit in your hose even if you haven’t used it in a while. That water can freeze and burst your pipes!
- Store your outdoor furniture. Chances are you won’t be spending much time outdoors in the wintertime. Go ahead and store your furniture to prevent it from getting damaged.
How to winterize indoors
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Did you know that your fans can actually help you save money on your heating? One direction helps to circulate cool air but the other actually circulates the warm air that rises.
- Replace your air filters. Dirty filters can mess with airflow, making your equipment work harder. They also compromise your air quality.
- Clean your baseboard heaters and vents. Surely you’re familiar with that burnt dust smell? If you clean these before turning on your heat for the first time, you can avoid that scent.
- Purchase window insulation film. This inexpensive purchase can help you keep 70% more heat inside.
- Utilize weather stripping tape. Install this tape around doors and windows to seal small cracks to keep more warm air in.
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors. You’ll want to make sure these are working properly. All these insulation tactics work wonders for keeping warm air in, but they can also trap toxic gases inside your home. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Taking these simple and inexpensive steps can and will save you a whole lot of trouble. Do yourself a favor and put the work in now so you can sit back and relax this winter.
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