Home Maintenance-Cold Weather Planning

Winter is fickle here in Atlanta. Relatively mild for weeks then a blast of freezing temperatures, then buds and blooms appear the next week. As Southerners, we sometimes don’t prioritize maintaining our home for the cold months. Here are some tips for planning ahead.
Winter-proofing your home is important for multiple reasons. For one thing, it helps prevent damage to your home due to leaks, moisture, and other problems. For another, winter-proofing helps conserve energy and saves you money on your energy bills.
Make Sure Your Furnace is in Working Order.
Change your furnace’s filter, and have replacement filters handy so that you can change it as frequently as needed. A professional can also come and look at your furnace and let you know where you may need some repairs. The initial cost of having a professional evaluation of your heating system could save you a bundle later in the winter. Your local electric power company may also be willing to help you do an assessment of your home heating system.
Check for Leaks
Doors, windows, and beneath your eaves are key places to look for leaks. Remember your garage door, too. Another important area is the space between your home’s siding and your foundation. If you discover leaks in some of these places, you can use caulk or weather stripping to seal them up. Caulk can be used on non-mobile leaks, such as between your windows and wall or along your eaves. Use weather stripping on doors and on windows between the frame and glass.
Insulate Your Attic
Because heat rises, your attic can be the sight of significant heat and energy loss in the winter. Sources say at least twelve inches of insulation is required to prevent heat loss. Check for leaks by looking for light and stained, discolored wood.
Insulate Your Pipes
The water heater can be a significant energy hog in the home. The water that sits in the pipes cools off, meaning you have to run the hot water tap a lot longer while waiting for the cold water to get out of the pipes and the hot water to get to the tap. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and easy to install – your local hardware retailer should have plenty of the foam sleeves available.
Insulate Your Water Heater
Consider wrapping your water heater to retain heat, thereby reducing heat loss and energy use. Bubble wrap, special blankets, and foam are all possible materials you could use.
Clean Your Gutters
Material left in your gutters can freeze, and the expansion of ice and additional weight can cause the gutters to dislodge or pull away from the roof.
Good luck, Atlanta. Winter is coming!

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