Preparing your home for winter

As fall fades into winter, it’s time to start getting your home ready for the drop in temperatures. If you live in Virginia area that means occasional snowfall, so follow our guidelines for protecting your home from freezing temperatures.

Insulate your home

Start by insulating your windows and doors using weather-stripping and caulking. Consider placing heavy curtains around your windows to keep the heat inside at night while keeping them open during sunny days to capture the warmth and natural heat of the sun.

You can also use clear plastic sheets over drafty windows. If your budget allows, consider replacing old windows – this can be a dramatic energy saver.

How’s your attic’s insulation? Bring in a professional to update your attic, crawl space and/or basement insulation. Proper insulation is critical to keeping heat inside, making your home more comfortable and helping to cut down costly bills.

Ensure your heating system is working properly

Test your heater to make sure it’s working by turning your thermostat on. Refer to the owner’s manual for maintenance requirements – or simply schedule a general tune up before winter starts. Remember to change your filter as absolutely necessary.

If you do notice any issues with your heater, call us and one of our HVAC team members can come to your home to assess your current HVAC situation.

Set the thermostat

Generally, you should set your thermostat as low as possible to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, usually between 65 to 70 degrees. If you aren’t home during the day, you may be able to lower it even more. At night, you should be able to lower your thermostat by 10 or so degrees and still have a comfortable sleep. Sure, some people prefer not to lower it at night but having a strategy in place for your thermostat will not only keep your home feeling cozy, it will also cut down heating costs .

Heavy snowfall tips

When the snow begins to fall, take a few measures to protect your home. First, make sure you remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and walls. This will ensure that melting snow doesn’t cause any water damage. You should also ensure your gutters are clear of debris and your attic is well ventilated to reduce the risk of ice damage. Last but not least, stock up on those snow supplies: shovels, ice melt, scrapers, etc. Take advantage of seasonal sales now to ensure you are not rushing to the hardware store last minute. If you have a snow blower, have it serviced and fueled before the winter storms start rolling in. This is when price hikes happen on snow items. 

Bring in the Chimney Sweep

Get a chimney sweep to inspect the fireplace; hire a pro who knows wood-burning or gas fireplaces to ensure your fireplace burns more efficiently and prevent chimney fires and/or carbon monoxide poisoning. Add a chimney cap to stop critters from crawling down into your house.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call us. We’re here to help!