Winter is coming, with temperatures dropping and energy bills rising! To keep warm, it’s time that we start looking into “winterizing” our homes in order to reduce unwanted costs and prevent wasted amounts of energy. This is an especially good idea if you own a vacation rental home that you want to rent out over the winter.
Here we have the do’s and don’ts to help us save energy, and remain efficient – all while preventing a hole from burning in your pocket. Whether you’re winterizing the home yourself, or have hired a professional property management company to button up the residence, the gains of proper winterization will perennially show, come springtime.
Simple Do's And Don'ts For Winterizing Your Home
DO check the roof.
When the leaves begin to fall during autumn, gutters clog with foliage and literally begin to weigh on the home. Depending on which region you’re in, snow buildup on a roof can escalate into serious issues and inflict major property damage. Preventative maintenance in autumn can better your home’s chances of surviving the winter unscathed.
If you are in a location with less-severe winter weather, you should invest in cleaning those gutters while taking note of any leakage or broken pipes. A badly clogged drain or excessive water from the gutters can cause serious water damage later, which can lead to flooding, freezing, or leaks that can damage your roof.
DON’T block your heat sources.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but as you’re arranging the furniture, you may mistakenly block your air vents. This could play a big factor in how well the home is heated. Some of us also try to use one heater for a large and expansive space in our home, which isn’t necessarily a good idea. Using a heater in a big space drives up energy costs, which is something to consider preventing. Most heaters are ideal for smaller spaces, such as offices or bedrooms.
Some of us are lucky enough to have a fireplace in our homes during the wintertime. Definitely make sure that the chimneys are clean from debris and have a clean and clear path all the way to the chimney cap.
The more we insulate, the more we save. Key areas for insulation include attics, doorways, and even outlets. Surprisingly, electrical outlets let a decent amount of cold air in. Use outlet gaskets as a solution to keep them sealed. Additionally, gaps at the bottoms of doorways are huge access points for cold air to get in. Plastic “door sweeps” block those gaps. It doesn’t hurt to seal any leaks around the threshold as well.
DON’T forget the basics.
You may let it slip but don’t forget to do the normal check-offs for your home. Always inspect the HVAC systems. Preventative maintenance can keep repairs timely and affordable, rather than costly ones, when it’s too late. Wrapping pipes to insulate and prevent pipe bursts is a great task to complete before winter settles in. It also doesn’t hurt to inspect and clean the furnace filters and the ductwork to ensure that it’s free from dust buildup.
By following some of the typical check-ups, along with these not-so-thought-of tips, you can most certainly make sure you’re right where you need to be when winter rolls around to test your home against the elements.
This article is a contribution from Suncoast Property Management, which has been serving North Florida's real estate needs for over a decade.