5 tips to winterize your home

5 tips to winterize your home image

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With snowfall and plummeting temperatures almost upon us, it's time to prepare your home for winter weather. To help, we asked a few home improvement experts for their take on the best course of action for winterizing your home.

Here are five tips to help keep the cold at bay all winter.

Fine-tune your furnace

When it comes to staying warm, getting your furnace tuned up is key. SERVIZ home-improvement expert Brendan Gill recommends cleaning out dirty air filters and inspecting your thermostat and heating system. "Don't forget to check the heating elements, flue and controls, as well," Gill says.

If the filter looks clogged and dusty, Gill says it's time to buy a replacement. "Don't get sucked into buying heavy-duty, long-term filters at a high price," he cautions. "You're better off with standard air filters that you replace every month." It's best to call in a reputable HVAC company to replace air filters, check the system and perform a thorough cleaning.

Reverse your fans

You probably use fans to keep cool during warm weather, but did you know that reversing the direction of your ceiling fans can actually help keep your home warm during winter? "The default spin setting on most fans is clockwise," Gill explains, "which drives cool air down into the room and helps reduce A/C costs. By turning it counterclockwise in winter, however, your fan will recirculate warmer air throughout your home."

Upgrade your thermostat

Not all thermostats are created equal. Technology has come a long way as far as automated heating and cooling systems go, so if you haven't upgraded your home's thermostat in a few years, you might be missing out. By adding our Energy Package to your system, you'll have a thermostat that you can manage from your smartphone or tablet, which makes adjusting your home's temperature easier than ever. You can even use it to bump up the temperature when you're heading home from work; by the time you arrive, your house will be nice and toasty.

Check your attic

Damaged insulation in your attic could mean lots of issues for your home during the winter months, from water leaks to cold drafts. Gill recommends inspecting insulation in your attic to evaluate any issues before winter arrives. "If you find damaged insulation or missing pieces of material, consider adding another layer of insulation," Gill suggests, "which will help trap and hold heat and won't create drafts the way that filling in the missing insulation would."

Pay attention to your pipes

Pipes are a key area of concern during the winter months. Michael Petri of Petri Plumbing recommends taking precautions to keep pipes from freezing. "Eliminate all cold air drafts, which can potentially freeze pipes," he says. "And insulate all exposed water and heating pipes, especially if they're in a drafty area." Pipes that are exposed to extremely cold air can freeze and then burst, which is the last thing you want to be dealing with during winter. Petri also suggests periodically running your home's taps to keep the lines clear and ensure that pipes aren't freezing up.

As a further precaution, consider adding the Water Detection Package and using the included water and temperature sensors for enhanced frozen pipe protection. They monitor the temperature and detect moisture to help prevent water damage. You can even create a notification that lets you know if the temperature around your pipes gets too low, so you can take action to help prevent them from freezing.