With the first named winter storm of the season underway out west, it’s time for us in central PA to let go of the warm air and brace ourselves for another cool winter season. There’s plenty to do in preparation for the cooler weather, and now is the perfect time to complete these tasks while there’s no snow or bitter cold wind to fight with.
If you follow our blog regularly you likely remember a few tips for getting your home ready for the summer season. This time around we’d like to help you prepare your home for the winter as well, to save you money and headaches that can accompany the winter season.
- Use your fans – While it may seem a bit counterproductive, you’ll want to use your homes ceiling fans to help regulate the temperature in your home during the winter. Ceiling fans that are set to go clockwise and are running at a low speed can push the warm air back down and redistribute it while pulling cooler air up. As long as you don’t have a cathedral or vaulted ceiling, some estimates say that you can save up to 15% on heating costs.
- Manage your blinds – Just like in our summer blog, managing your blinds can help make a big difference in the temperature of your home in the winter. Leave the blinds open during the day to naturally warm the home, and close them at dusk to help trap in that heat.
- Take care of any leaks – If you skipped this step in the summer, now is the time to make sure you aren’t wasting energy by letting in any cold drafts. Check those window and door seals! Caulk, weather-strip, and insulate anywhere you detect a leak, and be sure to install storm windows as well.
- Consider installing smart technology – Previously we’ve shared the benefits to using smart thermostats, water heaters, and even vents. As costs for these technologies continue to fall, special tax credits and rebates may make it more affordable than you think.
- Tend to your walkway, patio, or driveway – We all get frustrated when we’re shoveling snow and hit the edge of a loose paver, throwing our rhythm off and perhaps damaging the walk, patio, or driveway even further. Take the time now to reset any loose stones or pavers, and fill any cracks or holes with something like Quikrete.
- Gather any winter materials – Before cold weather strikes and dumps a foot of snow, make sure you have anything you may need in an easily accessible location. This may include shovels, snow blowers, icebreakers, and rock salt.
- Take care of water sources – Detach any garden hoses and turn off any water supplies to outdoor faucets to avoid freezing pipes. Open the faucets and let them drain fully. Consider wrapping pipes inside you home that run along exterior walls or crawl spaces with insulation or heating tape. If you have ponds, pools, birdbaths or anything else that might collect or contain water, be sure to turn them over or cover and close them up to avoid freeze damage.
- Clean out your gutters and get rid of leaves – Falling leaves can be a large nuisance if you don’t get rid of them. They’ll leave patches in your yard, clog your gutters, or create slippery conditions if they’re just left lying around. Clean out your gutters, rake the leaves, and have them removed in preparation for any snow, rain, or ice that may come.
This list will provide a good foundation in preparing your home for another unpredictable Pennsylvania winter. What other winter preparation steps might you take at your home? Let us know on our social channels through the links below!