Winterizing Your Home
Now that fall has arrived, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. Soon the rain and snow will be falling and you’ll want to make sure your home is ready for the storms that hit northern California. Here are ten items you will want to do to insure your home is ready for the cold winter months ahead.
Clean the gutters
So that winter’s rain and melting snow can drain, you will want to remove all debris from your gutters. Clogged drains can back up and cause water damage to your roof and seep into your home. By hand you will remove all debris in the gutters and finish with a good rinsing with the hose. You will also want to make sure the downspouts are moving the water away from the house’s foundation. The rule of thumb is that water should be at least 10 feet away from the foundation.
Seal up drafts:
The average American home has a nine-square-foot hole in the wall, according to EarthWorks Group. So start by sealing up all the obvious leaks around your home. One way to find leaks is on a breezy day to hold a lit stick of incense near commonly drafty areas: doors, windows, and electrical outlets. Purchase a door sweep to close the space under exterior doors. Another idea is to install gaskets in electrical outlets on the home’s outer walls.
Hire a home building contractor to apply caulking around windows and other areas on the exterior of your home that may be contributing to the air leaks.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Call a general contractor in Redding to add insulation in the attic. The money you will be saving in energy bills will quickly pay for your investment. Another thing to investigate is energy rebates. As of the date of this article; you can receive up to $1,500 in energy rebates.
Your building contractor can also talk to you about upgrading old, drafty windows to more energy efficient windows.
Check the furnace
Don’t wait until frost hits to make sure your heater is working properly. Turn your furnace on now to make sure it is working. It is normal to smell a odd odor when first turning on your furnace, but this should dissipate quickly. If it does not, immediately turn off the furnace and call your HVAC professional.
It’s a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and tuned annually. A HVAC contractor will not only check for safety, but also help add years of life to your furnace.
Purchase a supply of furnace filters to change monthly. This will help with air flow and efficiency of your furnace.
Get your ducts in a row
If ductwork is not connected and well insulated, a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of it heat before the air reaches the vents (source: U.S. Department of Energy). Ductwork is not easy to see to inspect. It is best to contact your professional residential building contractor to have them inspect and repair your ducts before winter arrives. You will want them to make any repairs needed such as pinched pipes and gaps.
Additionally, ducts should be vacuumed to clean out dust, animal hair and other debris that can gather in them and cause respiratory issues.
Don’t forget the windows!
Now is the time to take down window screens for cleaning and store in a safe place for next spring. If you have single-pane windows, now is a good time to contact a residential building contractor in Redding to upgrade with more efficient windows. Window replacement can be pricey, but with the tax rebates and energy savings, now is an opportune time. The government is paying up to $1,500 for energy upgrades. You can also budget to replace a few windows at a time.
Don't forget the chimney
The last thing you’ve thought about for the past few months is building a fire. Actually, the thought of a fire in Redding during the summer is frightful. But as the evenings and mornings cool, building a fire may start sounding nice. Before you build your first fire, have your chimney inspected and cleaned. And don’t forget the protective cap on your chimney. Have a professional install a cap with a screen to keep foreign objects and wildlife out.
Additionally, when you do not have a fire going, close the damper. This will keep cold air from entering your home and warm air from escaping. And for the same reason, woodstove owners should keep the doors of their stove closed when not in use.
Reverse the ceiling fan
On your fan there is a small switch that allows you to change the direction the fan moves. If you reverse your ceiling fans it will push warm air down and force the air to be re-circulated. Your blades in the winter should be turning clockwise.
Wrap those pipes
There is nothing more frustrating than turning the water on in the morning and nothing comes out. Even more ghastly is the spray of water appearing once your water-pipes thaw. This can not only be frustrating, but costly. This whole debacle can be prevented with an once of prevention. Contact a professional to prepare your water-pipes before Jack Frost appears. A contractor in Redding can insulate all exposed piping and hose bibs to avoid this happening to you.
This is a great time to check the operation -- and change the batteries -- on your home's smoke detectors. Detectors should be replaced every 10 years, fire officials say. Test them -- older ones in particular -- with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the "test" button. Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and still works.
Also, invest in a carbon-monoxide detector; every home should have at least one.
As fall turns to winter you will be happy that you called a contractor in Redding to winterize your home. Winter storms can wreak havoc on a home if it is not properly prepared. Enjoy the winter months safely and confidently knowing you have prepared for the harsh storms that affect Redding California and surrounding areas.