9 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home
It’s no secret that time spent planning and preparing for winter weather can help you save, and save you from the headaches that being unprepared can cause. For people in our region, winter preparation is essential. You never know how cold it’s going to get, how many days you’ll spend stuck at home, or even if you will lose power due to ice and wind.
Northeastern Pennsylvania winters can be harsh, and seemingly unending, but there are ways to minimize the potential negative effects so that you can enjoy the fun and beauty of our NEPA winter season. Plan ahead and winterize your home using these 9 easy tips so you’re not caught off guard.
Make sure you have a good shovel/snow blower. If you have a snowblower, make sure it’s gassed up and ready to go ahead of time. Snow removal in Northeastern Pennsylvania is inevitable, so make sure you’re prepared before it hits. Whenever the first storm strikes, you’ll be ready. Maybe you can even help out that neighbor that didn’t prepare ahead of time.
Make sure you have an emergency kit in your home that includes blankets and warm clothing, non-perishable food, a backup heating source, first aid supplies, etc. You never know when you might get stuck at home, possibly without power or heat. Ice has been known to knock out electricity for days at a time in our region, and for many that means no heat.
Check your roof, gutters, and downspouts. Clean out your gutters and remove all leaves and debris in the fall and then again closer to the first day of winter. This can prevent gutters from filling up with water and freezing or prevent icicles from forming. Remove any loose shingles from your roof. Loose shingles increase the risk of ice damage and can provide a route for water and ice to get inside.
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans will keep you cool in summer, but in the winter, they can help keep warmer air from staying stuck at the top of a room. Reverse the direction of the blades and it will push the warm air down. This can help you heat your home more efficiently.
Wrap or insulate drafty windows and doors. Window wrapping has been shown to help keep up to 70% of your heat from escaping! You can also wrap sliding doors or doors that aren’t used in the winter time. An alternative to wrapping is caulking or sealing windows. You can also pack fiberglass insulation around walls and doors. Whatever method you use, insulating and stopping heat leakage can help you save on utility costs.
Replace filters in your central heating/cooling system. This can greatly improve efficiency and save you on energy costs.
Prevent frozen pipes. You should make sure that your hose and anything else connected to outdoor plumbing fixtures are disconnected and drained. Make sure that the water to those lines is shut off if it can be. If you have pipes that are exposed to the outside, insulate them or wrap to prevent them from freezing. Frozen pipes can cause a major headache, and who knows if someone will be able to get to you to fix them in a timely manner.
Do you have a chimney? Chimneys can be a major source of heat loss in a home. If you have a chimney that you won’t be using, you can get a chimney balloon to block it off and prevent heat from escaping.
- Check your thermostats. Make sure that thermostats are working properly. If it’s time for an upgrade, consider a programmable thermostat that allows you to save on heat when you’re not using it. You can set different temperatures for when you’re home and when you’re not, or even certain hours of the day.
Doing these simple things can help you save some money on your heating bills, keep your family warm and safe, and prevent costly damages to your home. If you start working these things into your regular home maintenance routine you can start a few months ahead of time. The time spent preparing will be well worth it in the long run.
Citizens Savings Bank has multiple locations throughout Lackawanna, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. For branch locations and hours, visit our website. We also have a Customer Support Team ready to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1.800.692.6279 or email [email protected] Member FDIC.