A well-winterized home not only ensures your comfort and safety but also helps you save money on energy bills – and with the right winter ready checklist, you can ensure you are saving on energy costs all year round! Here’s a comprehensive guide to winterizing your Chesapeake, Hampton Roads, and 757 area home, covering attic insulation, heating maintenance, plumbing preventive measures, and more.
Check Your Attic Insulation: Keep the Heat In!
The furnace or heat pump in your home may be its heat source, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the first place to look when it comes to ensuring your home is winter-ready. How efficient your home is when it comes to keeping the heat inside is equally, if not more, important in some cases than maintaining your heating system!
Proper insulation traps warm air inside your home, preventing it from escaping through the roof. This, in turn, reduces the workload on your heating system, lowers energy consumption, and keeps your home comfortable.
Types of Attic Insulation: Common types of attic insulation include fiberglass batts, blown-in cellulose, and spray foam insulation. Each insulation material will vary in R-value (the measure of how well insulation slows the transfer of heat), and can be used strategically to meet the exact needs of your home and budget.
Signs of Inadequate Attic Insulation:
- Indoor drafts
- Inconsistent temperatures from room to room, or floor to floor
- Ice dams, inconsistent roof snow melt, roof icicles
- A constantly running heating system
Don’t Forget About Air Sealing
Even if your home is insulated properly, if there are air leaks throughout the attic (or the rest of your home) they can reduce the effectiveness of your insulation. Professional air sealing locates exact areas of even the smallest air leaks, and seals them permanently for year-round temperature stability and improved indoor air quality.
Schedule Heating Maintenance: Tune Up the Comfort Engine of Your Home!
Once you are sure your home is operating efficiently and keeping all that expensive heat inside, it is crucial to schedule regular (we recommend annual) heating maintenance. Think of this like a regular oil change or inspection for your car – an opportunity for a furnace repair professional to catch any worn-down parts and replace them before you end up with no heat on the coldest day of the year (which is when heating emergencies are most likely to happen). Heating maintenance usually includes:
- Lubricating any moving parts
- Replacing air filters
- Testing for efficient operation
- Combustion safety testing
- Checking for leaks and sealants
Plumbing Prevention: Avoiding Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common winter plumbing emergency that can cause extensive damage. Taking preventive measures can help you avoid this headache and costly repairs.
Insulate Pipes: Insulate exposed pipes in your attic, crawl space, and under sinks to prevent them from freezing. Pipe insulation is available in various forms, including foam sleeves and pipe wrap.
Drain Outdoor Plumbing: Drain and winterize outdoor plumbing fixtures such as hoses and exterior faucets, and schedule a sprinkler blow out. This prevents water from freezing and bursting any plumbing pipes.
Keep Indoor Temperatures Steady: Maintain a consistent indoor temperature, even when you’re away. Going on vacation? Make sure your thermostat is on and set to between 50ºF and 60ºF. This helps prevent pipes from freezing in case of a sudden drop in temperature.
Stay Winter Ready with Worley’s
By taking these steps to make your home winter ready, you and your loved ones will feel the benefits all year long. Improving the insulation and airtightness of your home not only makes your home warmer in the winter, it keeps it cooler in the summer as well. With one call to Worley’s Home Services, we can make sure your entire home is prepared for the winter temperatures ahead.