.Preparing your home for winter takes some effort, but many of the best measures are easy and free. Because ready or not, winter is here. Depending on where you live, you might've already experienced some snowfall and subzero temperatures. Regardless, there's no time like the present to prepare for the cold season – especially as extreme weather conditions become more common all over the world.
Use these home maintenance tips to create a winter home maintenance checklist, so you can spend those cold days warm and cozy.
Check for leaks and drafts
Leaks and drafts coming in through cracks in walls, doors, and windows can prevent proper healing and increase energy bills. If your energy company doesn't provide a home energy audit, perform one yourself. Here are a few ways to seal leaks and drafts:
- Put caulk, foam, or weatherstripping around moving doors and windows.
- Use bubble wrap or a window insulator kit to seal up windows you won't be using.
- Add a storm door to reduce heat loss at the main entrance.
- Install insulation in your attic to prevent ceiling heat loss.
- Replace poorly insulated doors made of wood with an Energy Star-rated door like steel or fiberglass.
- Cover mail slots and pet doors with insulation or heavy towels to keep warm air in and cold air out.
- Use blackout curtains on your windows, keeping them open during the day to let the sun in and closing them at night to keep the heat in.
Have your chimney inspected
Before you use your fireplace or wood stove for heating, have the chimney or flue inspected and cleaned by a professional. This step can prevent chimney fires, which account for over 20,000 residential fires each year. A blocked chimney or flue can also increase your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Don't forget fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
If you have a nonworking or decorative fireplace, you could lose valuable heat through the open fireplace. Investing in a chimney balloon can prevent heat from escaping and cold winter air from coming in. Just make sure to remove it if you want to start a fire later on.
Have your furnace inspected
If you have a furnace, you should have it inspected each year, just like a chimney. If your furnace isn't working properly, an early inspection can give you time to buy a new one before winter sets in. You should also consider having your air ducts cleaned or cleaning them yourself. Make sure you're also changing your furnace filters regularly to keep your furnace working properly.
Cover bare floors
Laminate, wood, and tile floors look great, but they can cause you to lose heat during the winter. As part of your winter home maintenance checklist, consider adding rugs or installing carpet over your bare floors to keep your feet warm and prevent heat loss.
Reverse ceiling fan blades
If your home has ceiling fans, you should switch the blade rotation with the seasons for the best results. With most ceiling fans, the blades should move counterclockwise in warm months, pushing cool air down. In winter, switching the blades to clockwise rotation on the lowest setting can push the warm air in the room down from the ceiling to keep you warmer.
Be winter storm-ready
Pay attention to the weather so you have plenty of time to prepare if a winter storm is on the horizon. Have your home and car emergency kits ready to go at all times and make sure your car's maintenance is up to date with a full gas tank in case you need to leave.
If you don't have a portable generator at home, now might be the time to buy one. Generators can keep your home warm until the power company can get you back up and running.
Install Hydronic Heating System
Extreme climate changes in Australia mean colder winters; therefore, a heating system has become an absolute necessity in every Australian home. The use of HVAC systems, as a consequence, has resulted in increased energy consumption. There are a few new energy-efficient technologies on the market, and of them is the hydronic heating system.
Unlike other heating systems, hydronic heating is an affordable and eco-friendly heating solution for your home. It uses water for even heat distribution to different parts of your house through piping. The system uses a natural convection process for heat radiation throughout the home, providing you comfort in Australian winters.
As hydronic heating solutions are increasingly becoming popular in Melbourne, you should sign up for the best hydronic heating service in Melbourne, like Surrey Air. For more than 35 years, Surrey Air has been at the forefront of the HVAC industry in Melbourne.
Gas Ducted Heaters
Australian winters and the comfort of enjoying the weather with a cup of hot coffee in your hand can only be maximized if your room is warm enough to beat the cold season. Ducted gas heating systems do the job for you. They are highly efficient HVAC systems that distribute heat to the entire house. Ducted gas heating systems also allow you to invest in a single unit for the entire house. Now imagine that your ducted heating system breaks down in the middle of the night? It is nothing but a mere inconvenience for all family members. What to do? Prevent breakdowns with ducted heating service and a regular maintenance program from a professional HVAC service.
Surrey Air provides heating and cooling services to customers across Melbourne. We have been in the HVAC business for more than 35 years; hence, we are the best at our job. From ducted heating installation to ducted heating repair and ducted gas heating maintenance, we are the first choice of customers. Whether it is just a crack to fix or an inefficient heater to handle, we have a dedicated in-house team with professionals having industry experience to provide ducted heating service.
Invest in an easy-to-read thermometer
For the seniors in your life, it's always a good idea to have a large, easy-to-read thermometer in a prime location inside the home. Older people may not feel temperature differences as easily, which can cause serious health issues, especially if they live alone. Having a thermometer and checking the temperature regularly can help them know when to bundle up or if there could be a potential heat loss problem in the home.
Free the radiators
If you live in a home with radiator heating, freeing up the space around your radiator can keep large furniture from absorbing the heat meant for your family. You can also prevent heat loss from leaving your house through an exterior wall by putting aluminum foil behind the radiator to reflect heat back into the room. A floating shelf placed strategically above the radiator can also keep hot air from moving up to the ceiling too fast. Just make sure you don't place anything on the radiator itself.
If your heating system can't keep up, consider investing in a space heater – just make sure you're using it safely to avoid a fire.
Surrey Air also offers brivis service.
Prepare for snow and rain
Cold weather can do a number on your home, and you don't want to have to clean and repair it after winter. Instead, add some basic winter home maintenance to the checklist and complete it long before the cold takes hold.
- Insulate any exposed pipes in your attic and basement to prevent them from bursting.
- Make sure your sump pump works properly and there is nothing clogging the exterior drain.
- Properly insulate walls and ceilings to prevent condensation, which can lead to mold or mildew.
- Keep your gutters free of debris, ice, and snow, which can pull down your gutters and cause roof damage.
- Turn off outside water faucets and pipes, clear the lines of water and insulate them to prevent water leaks in your yard.
Take care of low-hanging branches
Trees surrounding your home can cause severe damage to your house and even cause you to lose power. The weight of snow after a storm can cause limbs to snap, or bring the entire tree down on your home or power lines. Before it snows, have the tree's health checked and remove any dead limbs — or any that could cause serious damage if they fell.
Preparing your home for winter by completing the winter home maintenance checklist can keep you warm, prevent cold-weather damage and insulate your energy bills. While it's toasty inside, you can still enjoy the great, chilly outdoors with these tips on exercising outdoors while it's cold. When you're done, you can warm up before you head indoors next to your fire pit.