It is important to prepare your home for winter. This will help to reduce inside heat loss, keeping your heating costs down. Also, protecting your home from expensive cold weather damage.
Preparing your home for winter
Inspect your home for signs of poor insulation. Look for cold spots on walls and floors and uneven temperatures in different rooms. Check seams and light fixtures for cold spots and drafts. Use an infrared detector to detect hidden heat loss.
Up to 30% of all heat loss in your home happens through your windows. Two main types of energy efficient insulation are available for house windows. Insulating film is a transparent barrier that fits over the existing windowpane. Weather-stripping is thin strips of material that block air exchange at the window frame.
The fastest type of energy efficient insulation to install is
Weather-stripping gives better energy savings but takes longer to apply. It comes in several different forms that will require simple DIY skills to cut, install and fit.
You should also insulate your loft, but this is just a preparation for winter job. It should be already done. Check the level and condition of your current insulation. As a rule of thumb, your attic has enough insulation if it is higher than the ceiling joists.
If the attic is not properly insulated, plan to install insulation as soon as you notice the problem. It is better to do it as soon as possible than not to do it at all. You can use fiberglass insulation in rolls, batt insulation, or blown insulation. However,
Drain all water from exterior pipes. Temperatures below freezing can crack pipes that still contain water. You should start from the bottommost plumbing fixture and work your way up. Open all outdoor hose bibs.
If the house will be vacant or unheated during winter drain all water from interior pipes as well. For unheated houses, open every valve and flush every toilet. Drain the hot water tank and water softener. Lift shower spray hoses in sinks and showers so that the water in the hoses can drain. Pour antifreeze into every drain. Contact a professional to shut off the water supply leading to your house.
Check electrical fixtures
Unplug every electrical fixture. Remove the power to them by turning off all non-essential circuit breakers. This will reduce the chance of electrical fires in your absence.
Photo Credit: Filip Gielda Orlova Maria
good points of advice here – pipes are so important as it can be a disaster if they freeze up 🙂
As someone who is forever cold, I needed to read this, thank you. I was shocked to read how much heat is lost through windows and so will be staying mindful of that. Great article!