When summer is officially over you might find this article to be worth your while because it will help you winterize your house and get it ready for whatever old man winter throws at you this year.
Winterizing your house every year is a great way to keep your heating and utility bills in check.
Most of us could use a little extra money in our pockets, so we went forth and created our handy How to Winterize Your House Checklist.
Checking On Your Plumbing
If you have ever had a pipe burst in the middle of your wall in winter, then you already know very well what a nightmare that can be. Not only will you have to contact a plumber at whatever time of day or night the pipe burst happens, but you might be subjected to their emergency rates instead of the standard rates they charge for normal appointments. If you're lucky the failure to winterize your home and experiencing a burst pipe will not flood your home, cause mold, or cause other water damages to your house. If you're unlucky, all the above can happen and you can prevent it by doing a few simple things.
To Winterize your plumbing you want to check walls that are not insulated very well and you know that there are pipes running through or next to them. These are the primary targets for old man winter and his cruel pipe freezing pranks. Not sure where these pipes can be, they will be close by to your bathrooms and kitchen.
To protect those pipes, you can insulate the wall better by buying some batt insulation at your local home improvement store and stuffing it into the wall cavity between the studs. That process will at least improve the wall insulation and already help greatly to winterize your house.
Another thing you can do is insulate the actual pipe itself by buying a special insulated sleeve that snaps over the pipe. We recommend that you actually insulate all of your pipes in unheated parts of your home to properly winterize your house.
If you live in an area that is prone to extended periods of freezing weather, you may even want to consider pouring anti-freeze or washer fluid into the drain traps beneath sinks, showers, and bathtubs that you don't use very often.
Our House Winterizing Checklist
Before winter sets in, disconnect all water hoses on the outside and inside of your house. If any water is left inside the hoses, it can freeze and damage pipes or the spigots that they are connected to.
Turn off the main water supply lines to your outside spigots. After you have turned the supply lines off, drain the spigots by opening them. You can leave the outside spigots open, this will prevent pressure build up. Home improvement stores sell outside faucet and spigot insulation kits which can further winterize your house.
Set your water heater thermostat to 120 and 140 degrees. The temperature setting will depend on how cold the area is that you live in as well as on what you are comfortable with.
Use caulking to seal around: wall sockets, windows, doors, vents, and electrical wires coming into your home from the outside. Also you can use silver duct tape to seal the seams of your HVAC duct work.
Take out your ladder and clean out the debris in your gutters, down spouts and storm gutters. Clogs can lead to standing water which will then lead to freezing and expansion. Those combinations are never a good thing.
By following this How-to Winterize Your House Guide, you will protect yourself from a possible nightmare and you will also save money on heating costs. Take your time and follow the checklist to improve how your home handles this winter.