Best Ways To Winterize Your Home
It’s that blistery time a year where blankets, movies, and hot chocolate become so tempting. When you hear the wind howling and see the snow swirling and all you can do is distract yourself from turning up the heater. Even if it’s just a tiny bit…. Per hour.
Montana winters are long and can be tough. With temperatures that easily go below zero for long periods of time and wind chills that can take the mercury past -20 below. It’s no wonder some people move closer to the equaiter this time of year, but for the snow birds that do stay, we have some winterization tip to keep you more comfortable.
Fill all voids outside of your home
Now this one should be a no brainer. Walk along the outside of your home with a can of spray foam. Fill in any gaps or voids that you may find. This is easy peasy and will help to keep any cold air out. It will also help you to identify any damage that could have occurred from the previous years’ elements.
Do the same around windows and doors with a can of caulking. Both can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Bonus tip: Filling in gaps also helps to close access points that creepy crawlies may be coming in.
Install storm doors and windows
The simple act of installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency by up to 45 percent by sealing drafts and reducing air flow. Storm windows can make a huge difference when the wind starts to howl.
If you do not have storm windows, you can purchase a window insulation kit from your local hardware store. These kits are inexpensive and easy to install. When properly installed, they add a buffer against drafts & contain extra still space that boosts your homes ability to hold heat.
Insulate your pipes
Many homes have uninsulated water lines that run into areas like crawl spaces. Even though they may not be directly in the weather outside, they are still affected by the cold weather. When water freezes, it expands. This can potentially cause damage to your pipes or cause the pipes to burst. Not only would you be stuck with the repair bill for the pipes, but you can be stuck with water damage bills too. To prevent this kind of damage, wrap pipes in properly rated insulation. If the pipes are in a particularly drafty area, such as entering the home from the hose spigot or pipes that run along outside walls, you can always purchase electric pipe heat cable. Just wrap it around the pipes needed and plug in. This will help to keep your pipes from freezing, even in the coldest weather.
Insulate plugs & switches
Did you know that you can get drafts from your homes outlets & switches? Yes, this is not as widely known as some of the previous examples. You can remedy this by simply installing foam insulation inserts. This only takes minutes but can maximize the impact of your energy savings when grouped with the other tips.
Label your electrical panel
This is not an energy saving tip, but it is still important.
Not all breaker panels are created equally. If you are lucky enough to have one that was properly labeled when you moved in, that’s a great start. However, markings that have been done in permanent marker or pen can fade over time. Make sure to check the panel for anything that may not be properly marked. You can do this by flipping the breaker and testing your switches or by seeking the help of a local certified electrician. Then either correct the label or fill in the correct area. It is also helpful to identify the main power switch to the house. This is useful in case of an emergency, such as flooding or a storm, where turning off the power is of upmost importance.