Well, it looks like it’s finally here, old man winter is starting to tip toe into the DMV with temperatures finally getting to freezing or even a bit below this week. With that, it’s important to take steps to protect your home and your wallet from the cold weather this winter.

First off, be sure to shut off and drain your exterior hose bib(s). It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes but is very important to do. If you don’t, you risk the water freezing in the pipe and bursting potentially causing flooding in your home which I don’t have to tell you will not be fun to deal with. Here is a great short YouTube video that shows you how easy the process is:

 

Also, if you have a sprinkler system at your house, you’ll have to take some time to blow out those lines to ensure no water is freezing in there and cracking any pipes. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s just an easy YouTube search away or your lawn service may even include this as part of their winter service.

The next best thing you can do for the protection of your home is to be sure after all the leaves have fallen that your drains and gutters are clean and clear to allow for proper water management.  If your gutters and drains are not working properly you risk water pooling where it shouldn’t and potentially damaging your home.

Next, let’s talk about what you can do to protect your wallet this winter. First off, have your HVAC system checked out and tuned up by a professional to make sure it’s working at it’s best possible efficiency. If you have a forced air system, be sure to change air filters monthly to increase the life span and efficiency of your unit.

Not that your HVAC is running in tip top shape, be sure that your windows and doors are property sealed and you’re not letting in any cold air causing your system to work overtime to keep up the heat. It’s also best practice to try and only adjust the thermostat by 2 degrees at a time in either direction. Anything more causes extra effort and power from your system therefore increasing your energy bill.

Also, note the location of your thermostat. If it’s right by a heat source it may be hard to manage the temperature in the home as the thermostat will reach the desired temperature much quicker than one of the farthest away rooms in the system. There are plenty of thermostats on the market with specific calibration units to account for just that situation you may want to look into if you’re having trouble heating specific rooms in the house.

The list can go on and on but these are definitely some big ticket items that will benefit from your attention as we approach the winter season. Before you know it Thanksgiving will be here and we will be talking about the first snow of the season. Enjoy the fall weather!

As always we are here to help you weather your selling, buying, or just a homeowner with a question about general home maintenance.