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Prepare Your House for the Cold

As temperatures start to decrease there are a few preventive maintenance measures you can take that will help winterize and protect your home while also making it more efficient.

Below we have compiled a list of a few quick and easy tips on how to winterize your home.

Check your gutters

During the previous months especially in the Fall there is a high chance your gutters became clogged with debris. The moisture trapped behind these build ups when temperatures go below freezing will ice over causing a dam.

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These ice dams can cause expensive damage to your roof’s shingles causing leaks, can burst your gutters and can cause a build up of icicles along your gutter line. While pretty to look at the build up of weight this ice causes and the risk of them falling onto someone aren’t worth the aesthetic. 

Protect your pipes from freezing

If you have two separate water shut off valves for inside and outside, turn off the outside valve and drain the pipes by turning on the spigots. Once drained bring your hoses inside. If you only have one shut off valve for the whole house turn off the valve and drain all outside spigots. You can purchase an insulation cover to place on the spigots to protect them during the colder months. You can also drip your interior faucets if you are concerned about them, turn them too hot and set them to a very slow drip during the coldest days to prevent them from freezing. You can also wrap your pipes in insulation or heat tape which can be found at your local hardware store.

Seal and insulate the cracks

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Studies show about 35% of the heat in your house is lost through the walls and about 30% through your windows and doors. Do you ever sit near a window and feel a draft? This is likely caused by old inefficient windows or small cracks in the framing causing a loose seal. You can seal some cracks with calk or foam. Your walls should have insulation installed but if you ever put up new dry wall during a renovation project check out the insulation and see if it needs to be replaced. Over the years insulation can deteriorate and degrade, if you notice your walls feel abnormally cold you may need to install new insulation. 

Service your HVAC system

Yearly check up and tunes can keep your system running longer and more efficiently. You should also be replacing your furnace air filter on a 6 month basis. This will make your system more efficient, extend its life expectancy and improve air quality. 

Keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature

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The age old debate, what temperature should you set your thermostat to in the Winter? Keeping it above 65°F will help prevent freezing pipes. Also if you have a smart system consider setting it on a timer so while you are away from the house the temperature lowers and raises when you get back if you like your house to be warmer but want to save on energy.

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