Image courtesy of Denver Urban Renewal Authority
You Ask, We Answer: How Do I Winterize My Home?
We may be enjoying some unseasonably warm weather in Connecticut this week, but Novem-ber is well underway—and that means it’s only a matter of time before that New England chill settles in, reminding us of its arrival through every drafty door and window. As Connecticut’s leading independent real estate company and homeowners, ourselves, we know firsthand how winterizing your home can make your life easier—not to mention warmer and more energy efficient! Luckily, doing so doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Read on to discover our top tips for how to winterize your home this year…and get ready for your coziest winter yet.
First thing’s first: Cold air will always find a way in, so taking steps to block it out from your Connecticut home is a quick and easy fix that will keep you more comfortable all winter—and will save you money on your electric bill. Who doesn’t love that?
Adding insulation to spaces such as your attic, basement or any crawl spaces will go a long way in keeping the cold air at bay, and the heat exactly where it should be: in your living spaces.
If you have water pipes in unheated areas of your home, make sure you insulate both hot and cold pipes. This will help prevent them from freezing and bursting during a cold snap—a nightmare scenario that can cause a “homeowner headache” the size of your house!
Don’t forget to shut off the outdoor water supply, disconnect your garden hose and put it away for the winter. It will be ready to greet you in the spring, and you’ll prevent any inadvertent freezing (and possible mess) during the coldest months.
Lastly, if a bitter cold snap arrives, open your cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow warm air to circulate your pipes, and allow water to drip slowly through the faucets; this will prevent your pipes from freezing.
Keep the Cold at Bay
If you’ve ever settled into your favorite chair-with-a-view only to find you’re freezing a few minutes later, chances are, you need to address a drafty window or door. Applying weatherstripping and caulking around your windows will help keep the cold out and the heat in—and if you’re running a humidifier, it will also help deter frost from collecting on the inside panes.
And don’t forget your doors! Installing a door sweep along the bottom of your doors will help prevent drafts along your floors (not to mention cold feet!).
Consider scheduling a home energy audit, like the Home Energy Solutions (HES) audit provided by Connecticut-based BantamWesson, which can help pinpoint where your home is lacking in energy efficiency, provide a map to fixing those deficiencies and help to save you money on your heating and electric bills in the future.
Fix Your Fireplace
If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you probably can’t wait to put it to good use come the first frost. But before you strike that match, you’ll want to have your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned every year. Built-up creosote from last year’s fires or animal nests can result in serious hazards: unwanted fires or deadly carbon monoxide build-up inside your home. Servicing your fireplace will also let you know of any drafty areas that need to be patched— a win-win for safety and saving money.
Bring the Outdoors In
This year, our outdoor spaces proved more valuable than ever as we navigated Covid-19 and practiced social distancing. Keep your outdoor furniture in the best condition by protecting it against the elements. Bring patio chairs and tables inside to the garage if you have one, or cover them with weatherproof covers to protect from rust and paint chipping from Connecticut’s harsh winter weather.
Winterize your gas grill by turning off the propane tank and disconnecting it, then cover your grill with its cover. (Do not bring your propane tank indoors!) If you have potted “in-door/outdoor” plants, rinse them off from the roots to get rid of any bugs, then repot them and bring them inside before the first frost. You’ll be in great shape to welcome the spring season!
Program Your Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, try lowering your home temperature at night (not be-low 55 degrees, though!) —you’ll not only sleep better in cooler temps, but you’ll save money while you’re slumbering underneath your blankets. If you’re back to working on location, you can drop the thermostat during the day, as well, and program it to kick back on an hour before you get home at night. This will take the chill out of the air so you’re comfortable when you walk in, but you’ll still reap the benefits of saving money on your heating bill.
Taking steps to winterize your home now will ensure you can enjoy all the benefits—and beau-ty!— of the Connecticut winter in the months to come.