Seems like all the clothing stores switch from summer wear to winter gear around August. We need to protect our bodies against cold temperatures, heavy rains, ice storms, and more. For Indianapolis-area homeowners, that leads to the inevitable question: Can you winterize a home?
Why Do It?
Winterizing your home benefits your home, your wallet, and your family. When you winterize, you brace your home against winter’s plunging temperatures, thick sheets of ice, snow load, and more:
- Winterizing makes your home’s interior air quality the best it can be, neither too dry nor too cold
- Winterizing your home helps maintain your family’s health
- Winterizing lowers your energy bills at a time of year when heat is vital but expensive to produce
- Winterizing helps your home’s various systems—roof, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) , plumbing, and electrical—last longer and need fewer repairs
- Winterizing your Indianapolis-area home helps maintain curb appeal and resale value
- A report from AARP showed every $3 tube of caulking saved a homeowner $15 in energy costs
Once you get started looking for ways to save money and improve comfort, you can stay busy all winter. A bonus tip: turn your hot water heater’s default setting down to 120℉ to save on your most expensive heating task.
You Do It
Some of the most important steps to be taken involve no special skills, no risk of falls, and almost no money. You can do all these things:
- Move furniture away from your HVAC vents—both supply and return sides—for unimpeded circulation
- Reverse ceiling fans to draw warm air down
- Put a stop to expensive air leaks such as drafts under doors and loose windows; try door air blockers and shrink-wrap window film
- Test all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, changing batteries as needed, and replacing equipment in its tenth year
- Seal your doors and windows by inspecting weatherstripping, adding fresh caulk where needed, and checking for air leaks
- Clean off and then cover your outside air conditioning unit (but not your heat pump’s exterior component!)
- After putting on a long-sleeve shirt, safety goggles, and a face mask, clamber into your attic to assess your roof insulation; make sure you have enough, add some yourself or hire an insulation installer, and ensure existing insulation is not soggy, degraded, or damaged by pests
- Replace air filters on your home’s heating system, make sure the emergency shut-off switch works, and review your thermostat’s programming
- Verify that every storm door and storm window is structurally sound, does not allow air or water infiltration, and closes securely
- Insulate exposed pipes in crawl spaces, basement areas, and even your attic (where you might not expect to find them!)
If, of course, you do not feel comfortable performing any winterizing tasks yourself and your children cannot help, enlist neighbors, friends, or extended family. Don’t be shy; the money saved and the comfort gained will improve your winter living. A bonus tip: Protect outside hose bibs from freezing and splitting with hose bib covers.
Have It Done
Winterizing your Indianapolis home does not fall completely on your sweater-wearing shoulders. Some of the work is more easily done by trained professionals. Some of it must be done by skilled technicians. Here are some tips for having the winterizing work done for you:
- Make an appointment with your furnace, boiler, or HVAC service to have your heating plant inspected and cleaned; that includes duct cleaning if you have a forced air system
- Bring in an arborist or tree service to deal with limbs overhanging your roof, old trees that could topple in an ice storm, and deadwood
- Get a gutter cleaning service to make certain your gutters have no leaf litter, twigs, or organic debris that could cause ice dams; why hire service? Because extension ladders are dangerous and insects build nests and hives in gutters!
- Perhaps most important of all, have your roof inspected by your local, reliable residential roofer; your roofing contractor will know what to look for, how to repair problem spots, and how to get your roof ready to handle the worst snow and ice
You may have noticed you already got two free bonus tips. Of course we will finish this section with a bonus tip: Talk to your roofer about a regular, annual maintenance plan that puts you on a priority list for preventive maintenance and post-winter inspections. Twice a year, your helpful roofer can safeguard your roof and repair any damage caused by snow and ice. Plus, if emergency repairs are needed, you and your roofer already have a great working relationship. Contact Moss Roofing today to get started on winterizing your home! We provide complete roof inspection services, help with gutters, siding replacement, and assistance with your Indianapolis home’s insulation.