How to get your home ready for winter
If you've owned a home in a cold weather climate, you know how expensive utilities bills can get during the winter months. However, there are myriad steps you can take to get your home ready for winter, including the installation of spray foam insulation. You can get tips and advice from several government and nonprofit organizations to discover the best practices of winterizing your home.
You might also want to ensure the integrity of your home in light of heavy winds, rain and other potentially threatening conditions that could strike at a moment's notice. As is the case with virtually every disaster preparedness or winter readiness activity, the best offense is a proactive and effective defense.
The first areas you'll want to evaluate are the walls of your home, which will be some of the most important components of keeping heat in and precipitation out. Here are some of the more important things you'll want to look out for when taking a look at your home's walls:
- Holes: Holes in walls can lead to substantial issues down the road, as well as higher heating costs when then wind starts whipping. You should canvass the outside and inside of your home to search for holes or gaps, then use caulk or other materials to patch the vulnerabilities as soon as possible. Remember, holes and cracks will often have more serious consequences when not swiftly treated.
- Insulation: When was the last time you checked out your home's insulation? The insulation in the walls should be evaluated regularly, and will most often demand at least an annual check-up to ensure it is winter ready. Spray foam can reduce the number of times you will need to re-evaluate the insulation, all the while improving the home's ability to keep heat in and cold out.
Never forget to check the walls of your attic as well, as this is an area that can lead to much higher energy costs when not prepared for winter. On that same note, look at crawl spaces and basements to ensure that all of the areas in your house - even those that aren't used often - are prepared for winter.
Ducts and heating systems
You should always take the time to get your heating system and any air ducts serviced before winter. Clogged ducts or an improperly functioning heating system will not only leave you and your family colder during the height of winter, but will also hurt your wallet over time.
- Chimney: Always make sure your chimney is clean and clear before lighting a fire, as this will improve the function of the overall system while keeping you safe from fumes and potential fire hazards.
- HVAC: HVAC systems are prone to dirt-related system failures, and should be checked by qualified professionals at least once a year. More often than not, it is best to schedule an appointment in fall to get ready for winter.
- Boilers and heat pumps: Just like any appliances, these items can begin to deteriorate rapidly, and should be evaluated every few years. Clean and properly functioning boilers and heat pumps will reduce energy costs and improve air or water quality in the home.
Also, remember to make sure that the pathways in front of heating ducts are clear of furniture to ensure that the system isn't working too hard to achieve the desired temperature.
When you want to reduce your heating bills and enjoy better air quality, consider calling a certified Icynene contractor for your spray foam insulation needs.