8 Easy Ways You Can Winterize Your Home And Save Extra Money This Season

Sunday, November 6, 2016

With Winter approaching faster than we'd like (how is it already November 6th?!), it is now time to start thinking about making your home and the inside of your house as comfortable and cozy and it is throughout the year. If you live in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures in the Winter (looking at you my Canadian and northern states friends!) you could save yourself money as well as protect your family home and possessions by following a few simple steps towards winterizing your home the right way.

This week, we teamed up with the folks at Invitation Homes to bring to you eight quick and easy insides on how to keep your home safe and warm, ahead of the colder months...


Allowing water to remain in exterior faucets over the Winter can cause many problems, including frozen and burst pipes. Sometimes, it’s unclear that a pipe has burst until the Spring thaw, and dealing with a burst pipe is no way to start Spring. To avoid that, make certain you detach all hoses from your exterior faucets and drain them before the first big freeze. Turn off the water flow to the pipes and be sure to allow all the water to drain out.

If you don’t have frost-proof faucets, which is likely to be the case, turn off the water to the faucet inside the house cover with a cold weather faucet cover. While frost-proof faucets have water controls on the faucet itself, other exterior faucets do not. You want to ensure that you don’t replace the water as soon as it drains.


Changing your smoke detector battery once a year is important. Most of all for your safety, but also because it’s going to keep you from hearing that annoying chirping sound in the middle of the night when the battery goes dead. For most smoke detector models, the battery is located on the back of the smoke detector so you’ll need to remove it from the ceiling to gain access. Some models are hardwired into your home’s electricity and had a battery as a backup. These may require you to unplug the unit before you can replace the battery.

Locate the battery compartment and check the type of battery it uses. Typically, it’s a standard 9-volt battery, but there are exceptions. If it has the word lithium on it, then it doesn’t need replacement, and it will last the entire life of the detector, up to ten years. Replace the battery, being sure to install the new battery in the reverse order of the way you removed the old one. Reinstall the detector to the ceiling and be sure to test the unit by pushing the test button on the outside of the detector.


If you have ceiling fans, you should take the time to reverse their direction. This may sound weird, but reversing the direction of the airflow will force the warm air that would otherwise move to the ceiling back down again. Reversing the fan’s airflow will not only improve air circulation, it may allow you to turn the heat down a few degrees.


The first step to preparing your gutters for winter is making sure they are clean. Even if you don’t want professional gutter cleaning, you can eliminate blockages in the gutters yourself. All the built up leaves and grime can stop them from draining properly. This can lead to leaks in your home, particularly if the water has nowhere else to go.


Set the heat no lower than 62 degrees Fahrenheit when leaving the home for vacation or when leaving the home for any extended period of time to protect pipes from freezing. Even if you don’t live in a cold area, you must always protect your pipes. You may also allow a small water drip in your sink and keep the below-sink cupboard doors open to protect pipes from freezing. Ensure that your sink drain is clear of any debris to avoid future problematic clogs.


Even if you have the right amount of supply and return vents in your home, there are a few things you can do to ensure that they can do their job properly. First, make sure that you don’t have any furniture or other objects on top or in front of your supply and return vents. By keeping your vents clear, you will make it much easier for air to flow to and from the vents.

In addition, avoid closing the supply vents in any of your rooms, even if you don’t use certain rooms very often. Closing off a vent will increase the pressure inside of your ductworks and lead to the same problems that poor duct design can cause. A better solution for saving energy in rooms that you don’t use very often is to section those rooms off into separate zones using a zoning system.


The biggest threat to your home when using a heating unit is a fire hazard. Although there are no open flames, combustible oils and gasses, or easily ignitable materials, such as wood, a fire hazard is still possible because convection technology uses intense heat emitted from the coils to warm the air. Therefore, it is best to place your heaters well away from combustibles of any kind and anything else that can get hot and burn. Furniture and fabrics are easily recognizable wall heater fire hazards, but there are others you may not have considered such as blankets and linens, sweaters, cotton and wool, solvents, cleaning liquids, cigarette lighters and matches, alcohol, paint thinners, reasy or oily old rags, old newspapers and magazines, and thick, frayed rugs.

Keep in mind that each wall unit will have slightly different manufacturer recommendations for clearance from objects; follow manufacturer instructions for proper use.


Last but not least, keep in mind that for every degree you lower your thermostat, you will save 1 to 4 percent of your heating bill, but don’t set it below 62 degrees or you might risk frozen pipes. As 62 degrees Fahrenheit may seem too cold for you to stay comfortable when you're home, think about when you're asleep and covered in blankets? Setting your baseboards to 16°C at night and when you're away (being at work all day or leaving for the holidays) is a great way to help you save some pretty pennies!

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