After moving into your new home, the last thing you want to do is risk seeing it damaged for lack of proper winterization techniques. Plus, winter-proofing your new home will help keep down your monthly energy bill during the most energy-intensive season of the year.
Thus, even with a new home that is well-built, well ventilated, and generally energy-efficient, there are steps you can take to ensure you don’t have any problems during your first winter in your new “dream home.”
Winterize Outdoor Faucets
Many times, people forget to winterize their outdoor faucets, but unless you do, they could freeze. A pipe could even burst. Simply disconnect the hose and drain it. Then get a faucet cover from your local hardware store or use a cloth for the same purpose.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Indoor pipes can be in danger of freezing in a cold snap too. Use foam or fiberglass insulation covers to protect them. Pipes in a crawl space, attic, or exterior wall are especially vulnerable. Insulating exposed pipes will also help lower your energy bill if heated water runs through those pipes.
Winter-proof Windows & Doors
If there are any gaps around your windows or doors, you should have them sealed with wood filler. You may also need to caulk around the edges of windows and install weather stripping and a door sweep. You’d be surprised how much energy can be lost through windows and doors, so take time to test for drafts and to seal them all off.
Change Your Furnace Filter
One simple action that can make a big difference in your wintertime energy bill – and indoor air quality, is changing your furnace’s filter. All too often, a sluggish furnace or a spike in the monthly electric bill is due to nothing more than an old, dirty filter in your furnace.
Get An Up To Date Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat can save you lots of money this winter. You can program it to raise or lower the temperature setting at specific hours of the day. That way, you aren’t paying to keep an empty house at a high setting or coming home from work to a chilly indoor temperature.
Winterize Window-set AC Units
To prevent an air leak, you need to either remove window-based AC units for the winter or properly seal and cover them. You can buy covers for the outside end of the unit and use tape on the inside if there are any gaps that need to be sealed.
Be Sure You Have Enough Insulation
If you’ve not yet added sufficient insulation to your home, it’s best to do so now. A new home will have new insulation and should have a good R-value. But you might want to consider adding another layer in the attic or crawl space if you’ve not already done so.
Let The Sun Shine In!
During the winter months, use your windows wisely. Cover them with drapes, curtains, or blinds during the night, but let the light shine in through them during the sunniest part of the day. This strategy will help keep heat in at night and add extra “free” heat during the daytime.