When Old Man Winter comes roaring down the mountain, there are a number of concerns that naturally arise. They range from making sure you’re maintaining an energy efficient home, to in more serious cases, keeping everyone under your roof safe and sound. Here are some proactive tips and advice for preparing your home for winter.
Prepare Your Pipes: Frozen pipes can be an inconvenience, and if they were able to explode, a costly and devastating problem. The good news is that there are a number of simple steps you can take to prevent this. When it’s freezing outside, set your thermostat to 55°F (or higher) and ensure your indoor faucets are maintaining a slight drip. In addition, turn off the water to exterior hose bibs and open the spigots to reduce the risk of freezing. Finally, insulate any exposed pipes and condensate lines with foam pipe insulation and/or heat tape before it’s time to take out the winter coats.
Insulate Your Water Heater: If your water heater is located in unconditioned space (e.g., in an exterior closet, crawl space, etc.), insulate the tank or tankless heater with batt insulation or specially designed water heater blankets to keep them up and running in freezing temperatures. These items are available at your local hardware store.
Fix Frozen HVAC Lines on the Fly: If you experience frozen HVAC condensate lines, triggering a shutdown, clear the line of blockages before pouring hot water over the line or using a heat gun to thaw the pipes. If this scenario occurs in your attic, heat up your home appropriately in the main zone to create a thawing effect.
Shut Down Drafts: After inspecting doors, windows, and baseboards for drafts, block them with weather stripping and window film — or caulk the impacted areas to prevent heat loss.
Space it Out: Using a space heater on a level surface? Keep it at least 3 feet from flammable objects and turn it off before leaving the room or sleeping.
More Winterization Tips
In preparation for severe weather or power outages this winter, you’ll need to stock up on supplies in advance. To see our complete Cold Weather Emergency Supply Checklist, along with full Winterization Guide, click the button below!