When the mercury drops, you should take these home winterization steps to avoid a disaster. Here’s what you need to do in NC.
Do you feel that? It’s that familiar wintry chill in the air. Here in Fayetteville and Raleigh, North Carolina, winters can range from mild and easy to bitter cold and downright inhospitable. Did you know that you need to winterize your home even if you don’t live in a climate that receives buckets of snow and ice each year? The inner and outer workings of your living space need to be updated, maintained, and in some instances, protected as we transition out of summer and fall.
It’s important to winterize your home, even if you’ve never done it before. A small investment and weekend of work can save you from devastating damage or a costly repair bill down the line. Here’s what you need to do to winterize your home if you live in North Carolina, or a place with a similar climate.
Winterize Your Windows And Doors
This is one of the most effective ways to keep cold out, as well as reduce your energy bill each month. Luckily, it’s also one of the simplest and easiest to do. You don’t even need to call in a professional (although you certainly can). The goal here is to find and seal any cracks or gaps in your window casings and doors.
First, install or attach a door sweep to your exterior doors. These can be made from a variety of different materials, including sponge, felt, or bristles. They will keep cold air from seeping underneath the door, although they may drag on carpet. Be sure that yours is a low pile that won’t catch as you enter and exit the home.
You’ll also want to weatherproof your windows, especially if they are old. You may attach felt or foam tape around the edges of the windows, although some people choose to install an invisible tension seal commonly made from vinyl, aluminum, or stainless steel (also known as V-Strip). This is a more labor-intensive option, but on the plus side, it is invisible when finished. Of course, you may choose to install new windows if yours are very old or damaged beyond repair. While this is an investment, it will make your home HVAC much more efficient in all types of weather. It can also boost the resale value of your home.
It’s a good idea to install a storm door, especially if your living space is close to the main doorway. This acts as an additional barrier against blustery, chilly weather, and can keep your home heating system running efficiently.
Update, Change, And Prepare Your Home Heating System
On the simplest end of things, you should change your thermostat’s programming. If you find you’re spending more time at home this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find that you want the thermostat set to a higher temperature than you typically would if you’re gone for much of the day.
If you use a fireplace or wood stove to heat your home or just create a cozy atmosphere, now is the time to have your chimney swept and inspected. Do not skip this step! It’s hugely important for maintaining clean and safe airflow in your living space. Clean out ash and soot from the firebox so that your first home fire burns with efficiency.
Winterize Your Pipes
Here in North Carolina, we don’t experience extreme cold snaps with regularity. But just because your pipes aren’t likely to freeze doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t. When water freezes, it expands; when it melts, it contracts. This shifting in mass can increase tension on your pipes, and cause them to burst. Stop a frozen pipe before it starts by keeping your thermostat at a moderate to warm temperature, even if you plan on being away from home for a prolonged period of time (such as a vacation or trip). Your pipes should also be insulated, which is a job for the professionals. If you’re not sure if your pipes are insulated or winterized, call your local HVAC and plumber to have them inspected.
If you need more tips for home winterization, give us a call for an in-depth discussion. Taking the time to prepare your living space for the cold months ahead will make it a much nicer place to live, work, play, and enjoy everything the winter season has to offer.
Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.