Easy Checklist for Winterizing Your Home
In New York, you know what to expect from winter. It’s going to be cold, and the cost of keeping your home warm is going to rise. But it doesn’t have to rise as much as it has in the past if you follow this easy winterizing checklist and get a chimney cleaning.
Insulate outside pipes
The best way to do this is by wrapping pipes with electrical heating tape followed by a wrap of foam insulation. Do the same with faucets. Before the first freeze, drain all water from outside pipes and cut off their water supply. Bring hoses inside, or at least drain and cover them if they’ll stay outside.
Protect outdoor plants
When overnight lows start to reach about 45 degrees, it’s a good idea to move into a garage or other enclosed space any plants that will be harmed by cold weather.
Protect outdoor furniture/appliances
These items are okay in 45-degree weather, but you’ll want to bring them in before the snow and ice begins. If gas grills, patio furniture and the like must be left outside, cover them with a heavy tarp, and make sure to disconnect the gas line from the grill.
All doors that lead outside can be sources of cold air. A great preventative measure is to install storm doors. Also, add weatherstripping around the entire door opening to ensure a tight seal when the door is closed.
Caulk around windows
A lot of cold air gets into homes through tiny breaks and cracks around window frames. Solve this by applying a thorough coating of exterior caulking around every inch of every window frame. You can caulk the inside of the frames, as well.
Inspect attic insulation
The majority of heat loss in a home is through the attic. Inspect to determine how much insulation you have up there. Add more if necessary.
Add a programmable thermostat
These devices allow you to control when your heating system runs and when certain amounts of heat are needed. With a hand-controlled thermostat, it’s easy to take off and forget about it and keep your home full of high heat all day when nobody’s home.
Wrap your hot water heater
A quality hot water heater blanket will do a great job of keeping frigid air from cooling the tank, which makes the heating unit work harder to keep water at the prescribed temperature.
Have your home assessed by your utility company
Many local power companies offer free in-home assessments to show you a variety of ways to be more energy-efficient and thereby save on your winter heating bills.
Schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning
If you’ve already been running your fireplace this season and haven’t had it professionally cleaned, now is the time to do it. A certified chimney sweep can remove flammable creosote from the flue and also get rid of any obstructions such as leaves, twigs, general debris, animal nests and the like that may cause drafting problems. A clean chimney is a safe and efficient chimney.
Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is here to help with all your chimney and fireplace service needs, from inspections and cleaning to repairs, rebuilds and installation of new fireplaces and stoves. If it’s time to have your chimney professionally cleaned, call us at (845) 471-1071 for prompt service.