It’s important to take steps to winterize your home as temperatures drop to protect from maintenance nightmares and electric bills that are through the roof. For this blog, we sat down with Shane Stout, Warranty Manager for Schuber Mitchell Homes, to learn some of the most common issues that come along with wintertime homeownership. From preventing freezing pipes to keeping a close eye on your thermostat, winterizing your home helps protect your investment and keep your family comfortable during the cold months.
Remove Your Hose
As soon as you begin to feel a chill in the weather, it’s time to remove your hose and let your hose bib bleed out any remaining water. If you don’t, the water left inside the hose bib can freeze and split the copper hose bib open, creating leaks on the inside wall of your home when the weather warms back up in the spring. This is one of the most common warranty calls we receive in the early springtime. As much as we love coming out to see our homeowners, we would rather you not have to deal with issues like this in your home!
Shut your garage door
If you leave your garage door open or cracked for pets to come in and out, it’s best to keep it shut when temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. Having your garage door open creates a draft that can freeze the water in your HVAC closet drain. So the next time you are doing a load of laundry, the water has nowhere to drain and it could begin to flood your garage or even the inside of your home. Be sure to keep an eye on the nighttime temperatures and keep that garage door shut.
Check for Drafts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, small leaks in your home can decrease your energy efficiency by 5-30 percent a year. That means it really pays to take a few minutes to check for small cracks around your windows and seal them up with caulking or weather stripping.
Heat it and Leave It
A huge reason for energy inefficiency is setting your thermostat to fluctuating temperatures. The best practice for maximum energy efficiency is to find a setting where you are comfortable, set your thermostat and don’t touch it again. Constantly changing the temperature causes your heater to work overtime to catch up to its new setting.
If the temperate drops extremely low, electric heaters have an “emergency heat” option that you can switch to- but be careful when using this setting! Emergency heat is only meant to be used as a short-term solution to get your electric heater caught back up when outside temperatures are lower than usual. If used for extended periods of time, you could be looking at a steep electric bill. Be sure your whole family has been educated on the difference between heat and emergency heat on your home’s thermostat.
Another way to help support your heater is to switch your ceiling fans to reverse. By changing the direction of the blades, warm air that pools near the ceiling is circulated back into the room. This trick could cut your heating costs up to 10 percent. Don’t forget to switch it again when the weather warms back up!
We hope these tips will be helpful for you this winter. Don’t take them lightly! Cold weather can become quite the calamity if you don’t take the right precautions for your home. Winterizing your home is worth the trouble and now is the perfect time to get it taken care of.