As the bitter cold New England winter approaches, these 5 quick tips for winterizing your home will help you stay safe, stay warm, and save some money on utility bills that always seem to spike this time of year.
1) Let’s start with the basics: smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Many experts recommend changing the batteries in these devices at least once a year. This helpful video shows how easy it is replace the batteries in most alarms.
2) Seal your windows. By now, you’ve probably removed any window air conditioner units from your home. Leaving air conditioners in windows can cause drafts and expose your equipment to the harsh winter elements. Once your windows are fully closed, you might still notice a slight draft, something that’s particularly common in older homes. Most local hardware stores carry products like transparent plastic seals or specialized caulk made to lock the warm air in and keep the cold air out. Products like these not only prevent drafts, they can save your some serious money on your utility bills.
3) Clean your gutters. Autumn is a beautiful but very messy season here in Connecticut. Once most leaves have fallen, get out the ladder or hire some professionals to clean those gutters. Leaves, acorns and twigs are sure to be in there, and you’ll want to make sure your roof’s drainage system is working properly before the winter. Clogged gutters can cause costly property damage so preventative care is key.
4) Inspect your chimney(s). This is another preemptive step you should take to prevent potentially dangerous situations. Dirty chimneys can cause blockages, and blockages can contribute to house fires. Critters like squirrels and birds can also make a home out of your chimney, so look out for that as well. Consider hiring a professional to make sure your chimney is ready for winter.
5) Make a draft snake. Here’s one you can do with the kids. Why use a rolled up bath towel when you can have a little fun with it? This handy DIY guide shows how easy these are to create…and they really work!
Have a tip of your own to share? Let us know!