When the cold months roll around, most people like to have peace of mind that their furnace is going to be dependable and that the bills they receive for heating their homes are not astronomical. Here are some quick tips on getting your home ready for the cold.
Remove the debris from your gutters. Sticks and leaves can quickly accumulate in the gutters. Clogged drains and gutters can form ice dams in which water backs up, freezes, and seeps into your house. You can also use a hose to quickly rinse out your gutters and try to see if there are any possible leaks.
Try to minimize the air leaks in your home. One tip you can use is to walk around your home with a lit incense stick. In common drafty areas, you will be able to see the effect of the draft on the smoke. The most common draft areas are doors, window frames, electrical outlets, etc. You can minimize gaps in doors or window frames by sealing gaps with caulk or spray foam called “Great Stuff.” You can use door sweeps to reduce gaps under your door.
Make certain your fireplace is winter-ready! If you have a fireplace, you most likely enjoy using it during the winter as it can reduce heating costs and can be cozy. Your chimney does not need to be swept every year but should be inspected prior to use every year. Solid fuel burning stoves should be swept more than once a year due to the effect creosote has on mortar and metal dampers.
Most importantly, your furnace should be checked every year. An inspection can be done to make sure your furnace hums right along, but there are certain measures you can take to ensure furnace efficiency, such as replacing dirty furnace filters. Filters should be checked monthly.
If you’re like me, the winter months can’t end soon enough. It’s important to make sure you stay warm and that your home stays protected. By doing some of the steps above, you can ensure that damage to your home and belongings can be easily avoided.
Personal Lines Underwriter