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Winterize: How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

Your pipes. If you’ve never had frozen pipes… well, trust me, let’s keep it that way. If it gets below freezing outside where you live, it also gets below freezing in any part of your house without a heating source. Pipes that run through unheated basements, crawlspaces, etc. are all in danger of freezing unless you insulate them. Pipe insulation can be found at your local hardware store in the shape of pre-molded foam sleeves that fit right over the pipes. Not only will these help to keep your pipes from freezing, but they will also help you get hot water faster when you turn the tap on, which will save you money.

One more pipe to worry about… do you have an outside water spigot? These can freeze up real fast (been there, done that). To avoid an annoying repair this spring, make sure you turn off the water at the shut-off valve inside the house and allow any excess water to completely drain from the pipe.

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Your ducts. If you have a forced air system, you should put its ductwork on your winterization list. This is the series of ducts that run from your furnace to the various vents in your house, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you could be losing up to 60% of your heat if they are not up to snuff.

To check your ducts, just trace them all from the furnace to the vents, looking for any loose connections, pinched piping, gaps… basically anything that will be bleeding out heat and making your system less efficient. Repair and replace any defective ductwork, and break them apart to give them a good vacuuming every few years. Ducts can amass quite the collection of dust and animal hair, which can affect the air quality of your whole house.

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One Response to “Winterize: How To Prepare Your Home For Winter”

  1. JamiB says:

    I’m sitting here plugging up every hole I can find around my windows and doors and didn’t even think to make sure the furnace was optimized for winter. Programmable thermostat ordered and calling the furnace guy to set up an appointment when the rest of the world wakes up. Great winterization guide, thanks!


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