Winterize Your Home
Texas doesn’t get nearly as cold as some parts of the country. We don’t have the long harsh freezes and masses of snow fall to worry about clearing so winterizing means something a tad different here. However, there are still some things you should do if you live in a mild winter climate to winterize your home.
Clean Rain Gutters
Having clean gutters not only looks nice, but it helps prevent ice build-up on your roof. The water needs to be able to quickly drain to prevent freezing on the rood or under shingles. Cleaning your gutters also decreases your chance of infestation and mold in your home.
Inspect your trees to see if there are any limbs that are too close to your home that may damage your home during a storm. Doing so now is much easier than when it’s freezing outside.
Check for Leaks
Now that it has cooled off a bit, it is much easier to check for drafts in your home. Drafts and air leaks can cause higher heating costs. Inspect weatherstipping on the doors and replace as needed, check for gaps in your siding and windows and fill with caulk. You can even remove moldings to fill gaps in the insulation for extra drafty windows and doors. Eliminating leaks can save you as much as 20% off your heating and cooling costs.
Change the Filters
Before you turn on the heat, make sure to inspect your filter and replace if needed. Regularly changing the filter can help your system run more efficiently.
Insulate Pipes & Hot Water Heater
Insulate your hot water pipes and hot water to save on water heating costs this winter. Doing so can help raise the temperature in your hot water pipes 2-4 degrees, thus allowing you to set the water heater at a lower level to get hot water. Insulating the water heater can also save 4%-9% off water heating costs.
To maximize heat retention in your home, consider adding insulation in your attic. Most homes require at least 12 to 15 inches of insulation in the attic. You could also pack insulation around windows in unused rooms, and window AC units.
Clean the Chimney
In those infrequent times that we do use a fireplace in Texas, it is wise to have it professionally cleaned before you use it the first time of the season. Annual cleanings can increase the heating efficiency and ensure your family’s safety from chimney fires, build-up of deposits, and animal nests. Call early to schedule as chimney cleaners are usually busy during the colder months.
Flush the Water Heater
Particles and sediment can build up over time in your water heater decreasing the efficiency of the unit. Flushing the unit is as easy as opening the drain valve to clear out the build-up. This will keep your water heater functioning at its best.
Redirect the Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans aren’t only to keep your cooler in the summer months. They can be beneficial in the winter months as well. Just flip the little switch on the fan itself to have the fan move in a clockwise direction which will push the warm air at the ceiling downwards.