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Winterize home checklist - www.generalcleaningchicago.net

Year in and year out, there is no denying it –Winter is coming.  And as fun as snow may look in the movies, winter obviously takes a toll on most of us. Staying warm is the key during cold months and winterizing your home is just as important.

Failing to winterize your home could mean numerous unforeseen problems in the house – busting pipes, malfunctioning furnace, invading pests, etc.  Winterizing your home saves you a lot of money that you would otherwise be paying for wasted energy.  Winterizing your home might also make you eligible for a $500-$1500 tax credit.

This winter, be proactive in preparing your home for winter and take measures to winterize your home. Our thorough guide will walk you through the entire process of winterizing your home; complete with a comprehensive “Winterize Home Checklist”.

 

 

The Yard

  • Get rid of dead tree limbs and branches. These tend to get weak and break off during the cold months, endangering your family and property.
  • Rake away leaves to prevent rotting vegetation from the house foundation.
  • Dry and store away patio furniture. If you do not want to store the furniture away for winter, cover them up with a tarp so that they are not exposed to cold weather.
  • Protect outdoor hoses, sprinkler heads, valves and faucets from pipe bursts by draining water from them. Remove attached hoses to prevent them from going misshapen and forming cracks in the cold. Insulate exposed water pipes if possible.
  • Check decks for cracks, splinters, rot or pest damage. If needed, treat them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Clean the deck of any dirt or foreign material to prevent mold from forming between the boards.

 

Heating and Ventilating

  • If you have a fireplace in the house, inspect and make sure that it is working. Check for and clean any soot, leaves, debris or critter that may have collected over the warm months.
  • Clean, and if need be, replace the air filter in the furnace for a smooth, hassle-free winter.
  • Make sure that the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • Flush the hot water heater tank to remove sediment and residue.
  • Replace screen doors and windows with storm doors and windows. Storm windows and doors save you as much as 35% by sealing drafts and reducing airflow.
  • Remove window air conditioners.  Cover your air conditioner if it is a permanently installed unit.
  • Usually, conventional water heaters are set to a temperature of 140° F. We do not require such high temperature. Save yourself from scalding water and the resulting burns by lowering the temp to 120° F. Doing so will also save you a minimum of 5% on water heating costs.
  • If you are considering replacing your water heater, a tankless model is a very good choice. If you can, install a solar water heater. These are very energy-efficient.

 

The Indoors

  • Make use of window insulation films. Do not worry about visibility as these are invisible when installed properly.
  • Check for cracks and leaks in places where two different materials of a building meet – corners, window frames, etc. A caulking gun and some weatherstripping tape can come in handy when you deal with these.
  • Check wooden doors and windows for signs of rot and repair/replace as necessary.
  • Invest in an programmable thermostat. Lowering your temperature by a degree can save you anywhere from 1%-3% in your energy consumption bill. With a programmable thermostat, you can save tons of energy when you are not home.
  • A very good idea to circulate warm air in a room is to have the fan rotate in a clockwise motion. Most fans come with an option to rotate in the opposite direction- use it.
  • Get a draft snake to be used under a drafty door. You can also make a DIY-draft snake. If you do not have the time to make one, a rolled up towel also works just fine to keep heat inside the room.

 

Pipes, Gutters and Drains

  • Clean the gutters making sure that water can flow freely. A disrupted water flow will result in icicles and ice dams that not only look unappealing, but are also hazardous.
  • Check for signs of warped, damaged or missing pieces and fix if necessary. Early detection and repair can save you a lot of money in the long run in case you are to have a leak.
  • Snow and ice can weigh down the gutters off the house; check how sturdy they are. Sagging or loose fastenings should be taken care of as soon as possible.
  • Clean debris and leaves from the gutters and courtyard.
  • Check the plumbing for cracks or leaks to prevent water damage and mold due to bursting pipes. Caulk all cracks and seal all leaks.
  • Insulate pipes with the highest R-value practical insulation available. R-value is the insulation degree provided- higher the R-value, more the insulation.

 

Gearing up

  • Store away all equipment that you will not be using in the winter. Equipment that are prone to rusting, coat them lightly with oil and they will remain fully0functional all throughout the winter.
  • Clear off all debris, mud, leaves and grass from the lawn-mower before stashing it away for the winter.
  • Change oil in the snow-blower. Bring it to the front of the shed/garage for easy access on snowy days.
  • Sharpen the ice chopper and bring out the snow shovels.

 

Welcoming the Winter

  • Baking food in the oven will keep your home warm, too!
  • Keep yourself warm by eating and drinking warm food and soups.
  • Wear warm clothes. A long-sleeved thin sweater can keep you warm by 2 degrees, while a thick sweater will warm you up by almost as much as 4 degrees. Now that’s a way to save on energy.

 

Still confused whether you should do it?

 

We know that weatherproofing  your house sounds like a lot of work. But come to think about it, minor repairs when winterizing and weatherproofing will save you so much more effort and cost in the long run.

Also, with winterization of your home, energy wastage is minimized. Not only is that environmentally friendly , but you also save tons of money that you would have otherwise paid.

Above all, it keeps you warm.

Happy Winterzing, folks!